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Clone version of Austrian village opens in Guangdong

06-05-2012 10:01 BJT

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The controversial Chinese replica of Austria's UNESCO World Heritage village opened its doors to visitors recently in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. The new village is a "made in China" version of the pastel-coloured village of Hallstatt, complete with an exact replica of its church’s clocktower.

When news of the Chinese Hallstatt first surfaced a year ago, residents at Hallstatt gave mixed responses, with some threatening legal action. But the government of Hallstatt has since decided the twin-town could be a living advertisement for the scenic village.

The controversial Chinese replica of Austria's UNESCO World Heritage village opened
its doors to visitors recently in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

Alexander Scheutz, Mayor of Hallstatt, said, "It was not so controversial. We were only surprised that a small village in Austria was built, and now we are very proud that it happened."

A half-hour ride away from Huizhou, the Chinese Hallstatt hopes to attract both tourists and property investors. Disney-themed photo spots are scattered around the village's main plaza modeled after Hallstatt's marketplace.

Zhu Bin, Huizhou resident, "The moment I stepped foot here, I felt I was in Europe. The security guards wear nice costumes. All the houses are built in European style."

The controversial Chinese replica of Austria's UNESCO World Heritage village opened
its doors to visitors recently in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

Halfway around the world to Austria, the salt-mining town of Hallstatt has a history dating back to around 900 to 400 BC. The village's main appeal is its natural surroundings and serene atmosphere, signature qualities that some, at first, felt needed to be protected.

Pamela Binder, Director of Tourism in Hallstatt, said, "First we were a bit insecure, why did they want to replicate Hallstatt? And then we felt lucky and proud. Everybody who lives here in Salzkammergut is a very proud person anyway. And we are even prouder now that they have built a copy of Hallstatt in China."

Thousands of Chinese tourists fly to the Austrian town every year. The two countries marked 40 years of friendship last year.

The controversial Chinese replica of Austria's UNESCO World Heritage
village opened its doors to visitors recently in the southern Chinese
province of Guangdong.

The controversial Chinese replica of Austria's UNESCO World Heritage
village opened its doors to visitors recently in the southern Chinese
province of Guangdong.

 

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Editor:Bai Yang |Source: CNTV.CN

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