Why this visit by two women to China's Forbidden City sparked outrage

A visit by two women to a Chinese historical site has made staff “deeply distressed” after photos of their trip were posted online.

Pictures of the two women, one of them identified as Lu Xiaobao, emerged on Chinese social media site Weibo on Friday.

It shows the pair standing in front of an SUV parked outside of the Palace Museum in Forbidden City, Beijing.

Lu Xiaobao has caused widespread anger after sharing this photo on social media. Source: Weibo

The Forbidden City was home to the former imperial palace and was declared a World Heritage site in 1987. It’s considered to be a significant site due to not only its political history but its influence on Chinese culture and architecture.

Driving SUVs through the area is apparently not allowed.

According to the BBC, Ms Lu deleted the photographs after receiving criticism.

She had also boasted about her wealth when posting the pics, which viewers said showed she’s “out of touch”.

“On Monday the Palace Museum is closed, so I hurried over, hid from the crowds, and went to play in the Forbidden City,” she wrote.

“Don’t roll your privileges over China’s face,” one woman wrote, according to the New York Times.

According to the Times, Ms Lu responded by writing, “It’s not illegal to take a picture, right?”

China's Forbidden City in Beijing sees millions of visitors each year. Source: Getty Images

The museum responded to the outrage and told the BBC it was "deeply distressed” by the images and “sincerely apologises to the public".

This came after people demanded to know how Ms Lu was able to drive into the area.

Despite being a protected site, the city received more than 16.6 million visitors in 2017, according to China News.

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