Tourists have defaced seven classic paintings hanging on the walls of a complex in Beijing’s famous Summer Palace, scribbling over the ancient artwork with signatures and pictures of rabbits, CRI reports.
Words such as “XXX was here” and “The first cut from Southern Yangtze region” can be seen scratched into one ancient painting, which depicts an eagle on a mountain. Another painting, which shows a lotus flower, had a rabbit drawn on it by a visitor.
Liu Weidong, a member of the Cultural Relics Identification Committee in Beijing, believes those paintings without signed names could be cultural artifacts drawn by ancient craftsmen.
However, the specific time of the paintings’ creations is still not clear.
The tourism authority has been particularly sensitive about this matter following a little incident in 2013 that threw China under the spotlight. One Ding Jinhao, a teenager from Nanjing who was visiting Egypt with his family, will now forever be immortalized in worldwide headlines as the boy who etched his name into an ancient Luxor temple.
In recent years, the Chinese government has published various regulations and guidelines to ensure proper etiquette abroad as well as at home, imploring its travelers to please, for the love of god, be good.
The National Tourism Bureau took it a step further in April and announced that it would begin documenting instances of bad behavior by Chinese tourists and punishing them based on the severity of the act. So far, it’s been true on its word, and four tourists have already been put on the bureau’s dreaded blacklist.
Unfortunately, the ass-hats who decided to treat those ancient paintings at the Summer Palace like a wall at some dingy expat bar will likely never be identified. Liu has suggested that fences and warning signs now be set up in front of the paintings, although protective barriers haven’t stopped China’s intrepid tourists in the past.