Chinese citizens are in an uproar after a Ferrari left tire tracks on top of Nanjing‘s ancient city wall, possibly causing permanent damage to the protected historical landmark.
Citizens there are slamming the Italian automaker after a domestic sales rep allowed the car to be driven on the wall as part of a promotional event.
As is the case here in the U.S., the incident has also touched off the growing anger over a widening divide between the rich and the poor in China, where displays of extravagance and wealth are being denounced outright.
A crane transported the vehicle to the top of the wall and video of the event showed the red Ferrari doing 360 degree doughnuts, with cleaners trying desperately to scrub away the dark black tire that were left behind.
The affected section of the wall dates all the way back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is said to be among the best-preserved sections of the ancient wall.
“We cannot tolerate that Ferrari used the ancient city gate to make a show and ruined it. If you do not respect the city, you do not deserve to stay here,” said one Nanjing resident in a blog post.
The car that did the damage was a special edition Ferrari 458 Italia valued at six million yuan ($950,000), and the event’s organizers spent over $12,000 to hold the ceremony at the site.
“A 6 million yuan Ferrari versus a 600-year-old ancient city wall… What are the Nanjing authorities doing? So sad,” said another microblogger.
On Tuesday, Ferrari apologized in a statement on its official website, saying it respected Chinese culture and was working diligently to resolve the problem.
The Nanjing government has also “reprimanded” the officials responsible – but it might be too late.
“The (structural) damage may be invisible at the moment, but very detrimental,” said Yang Guoqing, a preservation expert.
Mobile users: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSJyURNaLVo
- Ferrari Damages Ancient Chinese Wall During Publicity Stunt [Video] (inquisitr.com)
- Ferrari damages ancient Chinese landmark (news.com.au)
- China angered by Ferrari stunt damage to city wall (abc.net.au)
- Ferrari Mars Ancient Chinese Landmark (myfoxdetroit.com)