On October 19, a video showing three foreigners causing damage to a temple wall at Beijing’s Summer Palace went viral on Weibo. The men dislodged several tiles while perched on top of one of the palace's old walls.
The woman who recorded the video, surnamed Wang, tried to persuade the foreign tourists to come down from the wall but her pleas ultimately fell on deaf ears.
Watch the incident in the video below (VPN off):
The incident touched a deep nerve with netizens, most notably because of the location in which it occurred, the Summer Palace, which was the site of military destruction during the Second Opium War in 1860.
That year, Anglo-French expedition forces looted the Summer Palace and also completely destroyed the Old Summer Palace. Both sites were renowned for their beautiful art and architecture, much of which was destroyed or taken by soldiers.
Many of the treasures stolen at the time, including sculptures and porcelain, can be found today in 47 museums around the world.
The incident has since been regarded as a major humiliation in Chinese history.
Ruins of the Old Summer Palace. Image via Toutiao News/Weibo
Netizens flooded the comment section under one particular Weibo post to express their anger towards the foreign tourists. One user commented: “You burnt down our Old Summer Palace and now you’re stepping on the Summer Palace?”
The incident originally took place on September 30 but didn't get public attention until October 19, when the video along with Wang's story was published via Weibo.
At present, the damage has been repaired, and the resort has reported the incident to police, according to an official announcement published online.
[Cover image via Wikimedia]