A group of vandals decided to cook instant noodles at the Great Wall of China on Dec. 9, damaging some of the country’s cultural relics in the process.
The incident was witnessed by a volunteer who saw smoke coming from the Great Wall’s Panlong Mountain section.
After seeing the smoke, the volunteer immediately notified an official, identified only by his surname Li, who then saw a number of people fleeing from the scene. Two people remained at the site, but refused to cooperate after being questioned by the official, who asked for their identification.
“We asked them to follow us down the mountain, but they were uncooperative and refused to show us their identity cards,” Li said, who extinguished the fire with the help of his colleagues, according to South Morning China Post. “At the end they just left and we could not stop them.”
Photos of the incident had already spread on Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo, according to Shanghaiist. One depicted a man boiling a pack of noodles while using a makeshift stove that spouted flames so furious it blackened the historical brick wall behind it.
To make matters worse, officials revealed that the vandals who were caught were also freeloaders as they didn’t even pay the entrance fee to the iconic Unesco World Heritage site. China can reportedly fine offenders who damage cultural relics up to 500 yuan ($75) along with up to 10 days of detention.
Although, this is not the first time netizens reacted negatively to people who disrespect the Great Wall. NBA star Bobby Brown learned this the hard way after he decided to write his signature in chalk on China’s landmark, which led him to an overwhelming barrage of criticism on social media.