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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Great Wall of China will be protected with drones

Por Jade

The Great Wall of China, the monument symbol of the Eastern civilization, will be protected with artificial intelligence and drones with a system that will be launched by an agreement signed by the Government of Beijing and the American technological giant Intel, informed the official agency Xinhua. The project seeks to inspect, repair and preserve the more than two millennia of World Heritage history.

Under the agreement, the world's second largest manufacturer of semiconductors and microprocessors and the China Foundation for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage will explore ways to collaborate in the inspection, repair and preservation of the Great Wall, with more than two millennia of history in its older sections. To get started, Intel drones will collect images of the stretches of this monument and will use 3D design to identify damaged areas. "The use of the latest technologies will give a new perspective to the protection of the Great Wall, and will show us the enormous potential of science and technology in the protection of heritage," the director of the Chinese foundation, Li Xiaojie, told Xinhua after signing the agreement.

With more than eight thousand kilometers in length, the Great Wall - actually formed by several interconnected walls and built in different Chinese dynasties - is threatened by the erosion of water and wind as well as by human activity in its vicinity; its restoration is difficult due to its enormous size. According to press reports, the national foundation in charge of conserving cultural relics joined with the Intel technology company in this endeavor, with the hope of obtaining better images of the monumental work and locating more accurately the most affected sections. The reconstruction works in the Great Wall are difficult because many sections are located on steep hills surrounded by vegetation, in addition to human threats.

Beijing will invest 155 million yuan (24 million dollars) to complete by 2022 and with original bricks the reconstruction of the 7.7-kilometer stretch and 51 towers that runs through the city. Last year the capital finished renovating a section of one thousand meters and machines were needed to climb stones weighing up to 500 kilograms on a slope of 200 meters high. The sections of the Great Wall in Beijing measure 573 kilometers and of them 526 kilometers are from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). That ancient fortification was erected from the 5th century BC to protect the northern border of the Chinese Empire from attacks. In total it is seven thousand kilometers long and extends from the border with North Korea to the Gobi Desert. The Great Wall was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987.