China seems to be turning its countryside into a sort of Baudrillardian Euro-Epcot — they've got two replica English villages, a mini-Barcelona and mini-Venice, a Scandiavia-esque "Nordic Town," and a German district in the city of Anting. Now they're planning to add a replica of the Austrian village of Hallstatt, and the original Hallstatt is pretty pissed.
Apparently the architects who are copying the town, right down to its lake, in the province of Guangdong didn't warn Original Flavor Hallstatt that it would be cloned. Hallstatt residents are house-proud — it's a UNESCO heritage site — and opinions on Hallstatt East range from "it's kind of a faux pas but could move tourism" to "IT IS AN OUTRAGE AND PROBABLY ILLEGAL." (A representative of UNESCO's monument-preservation board says that you're actually not allowed to duplicate buildings from photographs without permission.) We think that at the very least, the new Hallstatt should have to wear a goatee.
Get Grist in your inbox