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15-year-old boy scrawls graffiti on 3,500-year-old Luxor Temple in Egypt

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 28th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fifteen-year-old Ding Jinhao, a Chinese tourist, defaced a 3,500 year old stone sculpture in the Egyptian Luxor Temple with graffiti, carving "Ding Jinhao was here" in Chinese. Written with Mandarin characters on a bas relief in the Luxor Temple, his parents have apologized for the indiscretion. The disgraceful episode became known after photos were posted on social networking sites.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A photo taken by another Chinese tourist quickly went viral in China last week after being posted to social media site Weibo, where it garnered more than 100,000 comments.

Web site users were able to identity the boy and posted his address online. His school's Web site was hacked, and reporters descended on his home in the city of Nanjing.

The boy's mother offered a formal apology for her son's behavior. "We want to apologize to the Egyptian people and to people who have paid attention to this case across China," she told reporters.

Ding's mother explained that her son scrawled the graffiti years ago and had since come to appreciate the impact of his actions.

With China's economy booming over the past decade, a growing number of the country's residents have become global tourists. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang has since addressed what he termed the "uncivilized behavior" of some of tourists that was giving his country a bad name abroad.

His actions symbolizing a national shame, the boy wishes he could return to anonymity once more.

"The boy has known about it since Friday and cried all night. He has had to be moved around because reporters rushed to their house for interviews," a newspaper reporter who talked with the parents says.

On the bright side, Egypt's ministry of antiquities described the damage to the temple wall as superficial and said it would attempt to restore it.


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