World's worst maintenance project? Section of China's Great Wall smeared with cement

According to reports the low-quality construction work complete destroyed the aesthetics of the wall

UNESCO World Heritage Site project, which involved repairing an eight kilometre dilapidating stretch of the Great Wall of China, is being criticised for its substandard maintenance work.

According to Associated Press, the low-quality construction work protected the unrestored Xiaohekou section of the wall, but giving it an appearance of an elevated bike path running through forested hills.

Ding Hui, the head of the Liaoning Provincial Antiquities Bureau, was reported by Beijing News on Wednesday saying that the restoration work was completed two years ago over the course of three months.

"It really was an ugly repair job," said Ding.

Liu Fusheng, a park officer from China told New York Times: "This was vandalism done in the name of preservation...Even the little kids here know that this repair of the Great Wall was botched."

A Culture Bureau official said that they were told the central government level by the State Administration of Cultural Relics had approved the restoration plan, said Associated Press.

"The old wall was badly damaged over a long period of history and the restoration work was aimed at preventing it from falling apart and being washed away by the rain," said the official, as reported by the news agency.

The cultural relics offices, both at the state level and the centre, were unavailable for comment.

Several reports on the repair work show its inconsistency. Different materials including lime, mortar and concrete were used in different places, giving it a very unattractive look.

The vice chairman of the Great Wall Studies Society, Dong Yaohui, said the restoration work was "basic and crude."

"This sort of repair work harms the people's appreciation of the Great Wall's history and culture, severing a channel of dialogue between the people and cultural heritage," said Dong, according to the Beijing News.

"This sort of behavior is ridiculous," he added.

The wall section was popular as the "most beautiful wild Great Wall". It was built in 138, during the Ming Dynasty, and is located in Liaoning's Suizhong county along the border with Hebei province.