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Austrian UNESCO World Heritage village outraged at plans for Chinese copy

Residents of an Austrian village, a UNESCO World Heritage site, have voiced their outrage that China plans to copy their hamlet and build their own version.

The town of Hallstatt in Austria’s Salzkammergut region Photo: EPA

8:35PM BST 17 Jun 2011

After taking photos and collecting other data on the village while mingling with the tourists, a Chinese firm has started to rebuild much of Hallstatt in faraway Guandong province.

Although publicly, Hallstatters say they are proud that their village has caught the eye, others have voiced their outrage about the fact they were not consulted about the plans to replicate it.

Alexander Scheutz, the Hallstatt mayor, said the plan was a “compliment to our village”, but said he was “definitely a bit stunned” by the project.

Hotel owner Monika Wenger added: “I don’t like the idea of knowing that a team was present here for years measuring, and photographing and studying us.

“I would have expected them to approach us directly – the whole thing reminds of a bit of Big Brother is watching.

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