(ECNS) - Three rock climbers are facing both criminal and civil prosecution in Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province, for illegally drilling holes in a peak of Mount Sanqing, a sacred Taoist location and also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Despite warnings against the actions, the three climbers used electric drills and ropes to climb Jumang Peak, an iconic landscape in the area, in April 2017, installing about 20 bolts in the rock.
The People’s Procuratorate of Shangrao City filed a public interest lawsuit against the three tourists, including an individual surnamed Zhang, for suspected damage to the ecological environment and harm to public interest.
Sanqing Mountain is known for its exceptional scenic beauty, marked by the concentration of fantastically shaped pillars and peaks, many of which resemble human or animal silhouettes. The granite peak Jumang, or Giant Python, is about 128 meters high and seven meters in diameter at its thinnest point.
The three tourists were included in a tourism “blacklist” by the National Tourism Administration in June 2017. Local police also placed them under administrative detention and they are facing criminal charges.
Geological experts have determined that the drilling will cause new cracks in the rock and accelerate the erosion of the granite pillars.
Xu Hao, a lawyer at Beijing Jingshi Law Firm, said that deliberately destroying historical sites protected by the state may lead to a five-year imprisonment.