About Datong

"Cultural Revolution" building makes way for ancient wall

( English.news.cn )

update: 2014-12-11

A giant building left over from the country's Cultural Revolution has been moved to make way for an ancient wall repair project in north China's Shanxi province, Xinhua reported on Dec 10.

The H-shaped complex, covering a total area of 18,000 square meters, was moved 1,400 meters and rotated by 90 degrees on a giant steel plate equipped with sliding blocks, said Yuan Fengxiang, project manager with the Shanghai Xianwei Civil Engineering Co., Ltd. in charge of the moving.

The total weight for the building, divided into five parts for easier moving, reached 57,768 tonnes together with the steel plate, Yuan said.

He said the moving project started in June 2012 and was finally completed on Tuesday.

Built in 1969 in the city of Datong, the complex was known as "mini-great hall of the people" because of its resemblance of the Great Hall of the People near the Tian'anmen Square in Beijing. It was initially set up as "the Memorial Hall of Long Live Chairman Mao Thought" during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) period. Red slogans from that time, such as "Long Live Our Great Leader Chairman Mao," are still found on the wall inside the building. In 1972, part of the complex became a department store, which lasted until the 1990s. In 2009, the city government changed the building into a complex combining the city's library, museum and the exhibition hall.

Being a city for 2,300 years and a capital for 410 years, Datong was the only capital of China throughout history that was located to the north of the Great Wall. In 2012, the city launched a plan to restore the ancient walls around the city, which led to the moving of the building as it stood in the way of the original route of the walls.

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Datong moves its Museum

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