China unveils copy of entire Austrian village
A Chinese developer has built a replica of an entire scenic Austrian mountain destination in a move which sets a new standard even for a country infamous for its copies.
Minmetals Land Inc’s copy of Hallstatt, a quaint Austrian alpine hamlet, is located in subtropical southern China. The original is a centuries-old village of 800 people and a UNESCO heritage site that survives on tourism. The copycat is a housing estate that thrives on China’s new rich.
The Chinese Hallstatt features a church spire, a town square ringed by pastel-coloured buildings identical to the Austrian original.
People in the original Austrian village first learned of Minmetals’ plan a year ago when a Chinese guest staying at a local hotel inadvertently spilled the beans. Minmetals staff had been taking photos and gathering data while mingling with tourists, raising suspicions among villagers. Some Chinese are less than impressed.
“Chinese architecture is very characteristic and stylish,” said Zhong Ping, a Huizhou resident.
“Just work on your own style. Why do you have to copy others? Even the flowers are fake.”