By Menna Mourad
Chinese graffiti in the Temple of Luxor caused outrage in China this week after a tourist posted a picture of it online.
The graffiti scratched on the temple’s wall by a 15 year-old is in Chinese characters and spells out “Ding Jinhao was here”.
According to BBC News China, the teen’s mother explained that the graffiti was scratched years ago when they were visiting Egypt and that the teen is now very sorry for his actions.
“We want to apologise to the Egyptian people and to people who have paid attention to this case across China,” the mother told Modern Express on Saturday.
This incident came in the wake of Chinese Official Wang Yang’s comment in state run media about Chinese tourists’ “uncivilized behavior” abroad. He singled out actions such as “talking loudly in public places, jay-walking, spitting and willfully carving characters on items in scenic zones”.
On the other hand, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities was not aware of the incident and the Ministry of Antiquities was unavailable for comment.
Archeologist Monica Hanna said no one noticed the incident “because it was kept on a low profile by the ministry on purpose”.
Hisham Al Shattury, secretary general of the Tourist Guides’ Syndicate, said any violation of the sanctity of antiquities should be reported by guides to the Tourism and Antiquities Police, which in turn have the legal authority to punish the violators.
Hanna said it is the responsibility of the inspector and the custodian to keep the site constantly under surveillance.
“The current status of archaeological sites and those of heritage value is really miserable, where years of accumulated corruption and current lack of security is causing the very rapid loss of Egyptian heritage,” she added.