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CopyCat Chinese Back Down Over Stolen Sphinx Design

CopyCat Chinese Back Down Over Stolen Sphinx Design

A replica of the iconic Sphinx made by Chinese copycats will be dismantled after an Egyptian ministry complained about the structure.

The massive copy of the ancient statue has been erected in the northern Chinese province of Hebei. However, Egypt’s ministry of antiquities has complained to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) about the imitation.

The sphinx look-a-like stands in a cultural park on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang. Officials there say it is only a "temporary" structure, designed as a backdrop for shooting film scenes and TV dramas.

"We are very respectful to world cultural heritage and express our apologies for any misunderstanding," said a park official.

The replica, about 80 metres long and 30 metres tall, is made of steel bars, bricks, and cement.

Already notorious for copying Western goods ranging from running shoes to champagne, China is building up its replica reputation with a miniature Mount Rushmore, an Eiffel Tower and an entire Austrian village.

In the south-western mega city of Chongqing, a park is scattered with sculptures including Michelangelo’s David, Rodin’s Thinker and the gigantic heads of four American presidents in a trend known as "duplitecture".

An assemblage of Parisian monuments including the Eiffel Tower and a fountain from Versailles stand in the city of Hangzhou, as does a French village.

Among the most eye-popping examples is a copy of the Austrian alpine village and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hallstatt in the southern province of Guangdong, which even state media called "a bold example of China’s knock-off culture".

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