Cloning European towns is something China is becoming pretty good at. Remember Thames Town, a bucolic English village outside Shanghai used primarily as a backdrop for wedding photoraphy? Now the the country has devised plans to build a carbon-copy version of Hallstatt, a lakeside UNESCO World Heritage site in central Austria. Included: details for buildings, doorknobs, statues, and even a Catholic church. Of course, the 800-some-odd residents of the real Hallstatt are none too pleased: "The people are not very amused that this has happened behind their backs," said Mayor Alexander Scheutz, referencing the fact that architects and photographers were deployed without anyone knowing it. He then adds: "I think it could be a tourism motor."
· Thames Town: The Fake English City in China Where Newlywed Couples Go For Staged Photo Opps [Racked National]
· China Secretly Copy Austria UNESCO Town [Spiegel via Gizmodo]