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Chinese Teenager Ding Jinhao Defaces 3,500-Year-Old Egyptian Luxor Temple By Engraving His Name

28/05/2013 11:34 BST | Updated 28/07/2013 10:12 BST

A Chinese teenager has vandalised a 3,500-year-old Egyptian temple relic - by carving his name into it.

The 15-year-old was visiting the Luxor site, originally built by Amenhotep III in the 14th century BC and completed by Ramessess II, when he felt compelled to scrawl "Ding Jinhao visited here" in Mandarin across one of the sandstone carvings.

The vandalism was photographed by another Chinese tourist, who posted it on social networking site Weibo, with the comment: "My saddest moment in Egypt. Ashamed and unable to show my face."

chinese teenager name on egypt temple

Making his mark: 'Ding Jinhao visited here'

The post subsequently went viral, with networkers engaging in a sinisterly termed "human flesh search" as they worked to track him down.

As he had cunningly left his name, Ding was quickly revealed to be a middle school student in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province.

According to the Beijing News, Ding's school website was hacked on Sunday, with visitors forced to click on a message box which read "Ding has visited this place" before being granted access to the site.

Many Chinese citizens criticised Ding's act as an embarrassment to the country.

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"Why there are so many citizens who go abroad and humiliate us? How many generations will it take to change this kind of behaviour?'' Xuan Kejiong, a prominent journalist with Shanghai Television, wrote on his microblog.

At a conference to implement newly passed tourism laws earlier this month, vice premier Wang Yang said tourists who behaved badly hurt the nation's image, The South China Morning Press reports.

Ding's parents have issued a public apology via an interview with a Nanjing newspaper.

His mother told local newspaper Modern Express: "We want to apologise to the Egyptian people and to people who have paid attention to this case across China."

The reporter who interviewed the boy's parents in turn told the Global Times: "The boy... has cried all night. He has had to be moved around because reporters rushed to their house for interviews."

Thankfully, the Egyptian ministry of antiquities said the damage to the temple was superficial and was being repaired.

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