A Ferrari SpA dealership employee took a spin on Nanjing’s 600-year-old city wall, leaving tire marks on the Chinese relic and prompting an apology from the automaker.
The Ferrari dealer had rented a gate along the state-protected cultural property encircling the former imperial capital for a May 7 showing of the limited edition Ferrari 458 Italia, according to the official Xinhua News Agency and videos on youku.com.
The car was lifted by crane onto the wall the night before the show, then a driver gunned the engine and performed an unauthorized donut spin that left tread marks, according to Xinhua and youku.com videos, which didn’t identify the driver by name. A news clip showed workers attempting to remove the marks with a mop.
“Ferrari has always respected Chinese traditional culture and values the protection of historical and cultural relics,” the Maranello, Italy-based company said in the Chinese-language statement posted on its blog and verified by Shanghai-based spokeswoman Cathy Wen. “Ferrari deeply regrets the incident.”
The event promoting the car was canceled, and Ferrari is taking measures to ensure such actions are not repeated, according to the statement.
Yang Houyin, who is in charge of the agency managing the city wall, was removed from his position because of “incompetent supervision and management,” according to a Yangtse Evening Post report carried on Xinhua.
Built in the early Ming dynasty, Nanjing’s city wall is the oldest intact wall in China today, according to China’s submission to Unesco in preparation for application for World Heritage site status.