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Teen Temple Vandal Tracked Down, Parents Respond
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vandal found

Modern human beings feel the need to make their name known, and, as has become popular in the late 20th and early 21st century, the easiest way to get a name out there is to scrawl it on top of someone else’s hard work. Any city-dweller is all too familiar with graffiti vandalism, particularly the uninspired type which manifests itself as somebody’s name or tag written on something else: a train interior, fence, or bathroom wall. Rarely, however, do those of us who are bombarded by the glut of names carved into every surface have the opportunity to track down and prosecute the one responsible for the eyesore. One Chinese middle school student, who performed a particularly egregious and senseless act of vandalism on an historic relic, is facing the consequences of his idiotic actions.

Ding Jinhao was visiting Egypt’s Luxor temple with his family recently, when he decided to use the pristinely preserved, 3500 year old temple’s hieroglyph-covered wall to let others know that he had visited. On the chest of a woman etched into the wall by ancient Egyptians millennia ago, Ding scratched in crude, white Chinese characters, “Ding Jinhao was here.”


Ding was not caught leaving his mark while in Egypt, but another Chinese tourist visiting the site on Friday took photos of the defilement and posted them to a social media site. The photos then caught the attention of the nation, sparked outrage, and led a search for the perpetrator of the offense. Ding was tracked to his middle school in the Jiangsu Province, and reporters arrived to interview the boy’s family.

The 14 year-old’s parents apologized for their son’s behavior, and asked for forgiveness on Saturday. “We want to apologize to the Egyptian people and to people who have paid attention to this case across China,” said Ding’s mother. She told Chinese newspaper Modern Express that her son has realized the seriousness of his misconduct.

Chinese citizens have come under fire recently for vandalizing historical sites, both in their own nation and abroad. The country has enacted a Tourism Law, which will take effect in October and attempt to hold Chinese tourists accountable for their actions when on vacation.

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