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Uncertified Copy: Chinese Company Duplicates An Austrian Town
June 9, 2012
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A while ago, we told you about an attempt to replicate the entirety of Manhattan in China. That project isn't going well: it's been labelled "too big to complete" and may need a bail-out from the government. But another, similar project on a smaller scale is already here: a company called China Minmetals Corporation has created a full-sized replica of the village of Hallstatt, Austria in Guangdong Province, China.

The Original Village

With European-style wooden houses, an exact replica of the church clock tower and other properties, the "Made In China" version of Hallstatt looks very similar to the original. Unlike Hallstatt, however, China's version is located only half an hour away from a gritty manufacturing city called Huizhou, and its buildings are intended to be sold to investors. The replica village, which cost US$940 million to build, is also open to the public as a tourist attraction.

The Duplicate Village In China


When it was first announced last year, some residents of the original Hallstatt - which is a UNESCO-protected heritage site - were uncertain about the project. According to Reuters, the announcement that the town would be duplicated "initially sparked outrage and surprise among some Hallstatt villagers".

Director of Tourism Hallstatt, Pamela Binder, says the village is now comfortable with its Chinese replica: "First we were a bit insecure. Why did it come to replicate Hallstatt? And then we became lucky and proud". Not everyone's on board, though - Hallstatt resident Karin Holl says "I don't think it is a good idea. Hallstatt is just unique with its culture and traditions. You cannot copy that".

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