Online crowdfunding launched to preserve China's Great Wall

Serenitie Wang and Katie Hunt, CNNUpdated 9th September 2016
(CNN) — The Great Wall needs you!
That's the message from a group protecting China's -- perhaps the world's -- most famous monument.
A online crowdfunding campaign to raise $1.6 million (11 million yuan) has been launched by the China Foundation for Culture Heritage Conservation, a semi-official organization.
So far, around 385,000 yuan has been gathered from more than 24,000 pledgers.
"Despite the support from the central government, a large part of the Great Wall is at risk and disappearing," said Dong Yaohui, deputy director of the Great Wall of China Society, an NGO that is also involved with the crowdfunding campaign.
The Great Wall stretches from Hebei province in the east to Gansu province to the west, and stretches over 220,000 kilometers. This photo shows a section of the wall near the border of Liaoning and Hebei province that was repaired in 2014. Great Wall of China Society deputy director Dong Yaohui said the repair was done "very badly"
The ancient fortification snakes for 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers) across northern China, running through nine provinces.
Many local governments don't have enough funding to preserve the Great Wall, nor is there enough manpower, says Dong.
For hiking and photography enthusiasts, there is no better place on the Great Wall of China than the dramatic and difficult Jiankou section, says CNN cameraman Brad Olson. Located about 90 km from Beijing, the Ming Dynasty relic is best entered from the north through the village of Xizhazi in Beijing's Huairou District. As the section is about 9 miles (18 km) long with rugged terrain, Olsen covered it over four visits, once during each season.
The money will be used to restore a 500-year-old and 460-meter-long section of the Great Wall located in Xifengkou, Hebei Province.
The organizers also hope the campaign will raise awareness of the many threats facing the Great Wall.
Built in different stages from the third century B.C. to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the wall was built to defend an empire but parts of it are now crumbling.
Bricks have been stolen to build houses, for agriculture or to sell as souvenirs to tourists -- exacerbating the natural erosion wrought by wind, rain and sandstorms.
According to a 2014 survey by the society, only about 8.2% of the Great Wall is in good condition.
Since 2005, China's central government has allocated $285 million (1.9 billion yuan) to a long-term project to restore the Great Wall section by section.
It's also a UNESCO world heritage site but Dong said the body doesn't provide funding.
UNESCO didn't respond to a request for comment.
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