Photo: AP Images
China is known for knocking off making copycat versions of iPhones and designer bags, but a new knockoff of an entire village in Austria, which was unveiled this weekend, takes the cake.The replica of Hallstatt, a centuries-old village in Austria, opened in the Chinese province of Guangdong amid some controversy, as natives of the original Hallstatt were not initially made aware that their historic buildings and streets were being ripped off.
It was only revealed last year when a Chinese visitor to Austria’s Hallstatt let word of the project slip, according to the AP.
The “made in China” version of the town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, cost an estimated $940 million to build, according to Reuters. The project was conceived by a Chinese mining tycoon and backed by Minmetals Land Inc.
Some residents of the original Hallstat, a town of around 900, made the journey to Guangdong to attend this weekend’s opening ceremony.
Here is a diorama of the original Austrian village in China. The original village thrives on tourism; China's version is a high-end residential project.
Now let's take a look at the original. Hallstatt is located in the Salzkammergut region in upper Austria.
The town has many restaurants and hotels to accommodate its large tourist population. It has only 900 residents but gets around 80,000 visitors a year.
The original Hallstatt occupies a narrow strip of land between the steep mountainsides and a large lake called the Hallstattersee.
The hamlet also gave its name to the early Iron Age Hallstatt culture and is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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