Chinese Building a Copy of Austrian UNESCO World Heritage Villiage

“In a deeply traditional part of Austria shielded for centuries from much of the rest of the world by towering mountains and steep valleys, the apparent secrecy surrounding the project has also revived suspicions of outsiders.” These days, imitation isn’t really the sincerest form of flattery so much as it is the sincerest form of commerce. And in the global economy, no one can be more sincere that the Chinese. It seems that Hallstatt, Austria is the latest thing a Chinese company has taken a shine to and wants to duplicate. Minmetals Land Ltd., a real estate development subsidiary of China Minmetals Corporation, has spent the last several months taking numerous photographs and recording the technical details of Hallstatt, an Austrian UNESCO World Heritage site nestled on the shores of an Alpine mountain lake. And armed with their exhaustive research materials, Minmetals has started building a copy of the Austrian town in China’s Guandong Province. It is being advertised as a high-end residential development. Many of Hallstatt’s residents are not happy about this. They’re angry that Minmetals basically snuck around for months pretending to be tourists while planning to basically steal the look and feel of the town. At the very least, however, many Hallstatt residents are circumspect. They’re quick to point out that there is no way the Chinese could ever copy Hallstatt’s surrounding landscape, centuries of history and culture, or the people themselves. (KOMO News Seattle – Chinese Copy of Austrian Town)