Construction has begun on a 200 million yuan ($30 million) project to restore the ancient town of Liqian from its ruins in Yongchang county, Northwest China's Gansu province, local paper the Lanzhou Morning Post reported Friday.
Liqian village in Northwest Gansu province is believed to be the former settlement of defeated Roman soldiers. [File photo/China Daily]
The project involves restoring the remains of an ancient fortification, strikingly similar to Roman defense structures and covering about one square kilometer. The project will bring the town back to life, with Roman-style residential buildings, a temple, a street and a square all being rebuilt.
As previously reported by the China Daily, today Liqian is a village of fewer than 100 households in Northwest China's Gansu province with a historic link to the Roman Empire.
The remote village on the edge of the Gobi Desert captured international attention in the 1980s when media became aware some of the mainly Han residents had several unexpected physical features -- wavy blond hair, hooked noses, and blue or green eyes. In other words, European features, suggesting a Roman settlement in the area at some point.
The project is expected to finish in 2013.