China / Society

Copy of Old Summer Palace opens amid controversy

By WANG KAIHAO (China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-11 08:02

Copy of Old Summer Palace opens amid controversy

The New Yuanmingyuan Park opened in Dongyang, Zhejiang province, on Sunday. A local enterprise funded the project, which is a 95 percent copy of the the Yuanmingyuan imperial park, or Old Summer Palace, in Beijing. The palace was looted and then burned by Anglo-French forces in 1860 during the Second Opium War (1856-60). [BAO KANGXUAN/CHINA DAILY]

The controversial replica of the Old Summer Palace, or Yuanmingyuan, Beijing's renowned garden complex that was looted by British and French troops in 1860, opened its gates on Sunday in Dongyang, Zhejiang province.

The New Yuanmingyuan Palace cost 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion). It covers more than 400 hectares at Hengdian World Studios, China's largest outdoor film studio, and claims to duplicate the former royal retreat in its original size.

The Old Summer Palace in northwest Beijing was first constructed in the early 18th century as a site to honor both the best of Chinese landscaping and Western styles.

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