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Ancient village under private protection

By ZHU LIXIN | China Daily | Updated: 2016-10-05 09:31

Ancient village under private protection

A pavilion in Pingshan village. ZHU LIXIN/CHINA DAILY

In 2006, Zhang acquired some 66,700 square meters of land in the nearby Xiuli village of Yixian County, at a cost of 5 million yuan, to build a film base on the site. Building the base cost him tens of millions of yuan more, as he had bought more than 60 ancient buildings from the ancient Huizhou region and moved them to the place for reassembly and restoration.

In ancient times, the Huangshan region was called Huizhou Prefecture, which governed an urban area and six rural counties, including Yixian County.

"Huangshan city now has more than 8,000 ancient Huizhou-style houses, while only around 2,000 of the better-preserved ones have been listed as historic cultural relics by the government. The remainder are available for purchase, since the government is not able to protect so many ancient houses", said Ren Zefeng, party chief of Huangshan city.

Ren said it is because Huangshan is a mountainous region and was seldom disturbed by wars that the local ancient houses could be preserved much better than other areas of the country.

"This is reflected in the fact that the city enjoys a forestry coverage rate of more than 90 percent", added Ren.

Although some tycoons like Zhang choose to move the houses they buy to specific sites, most of the buyers are not able to afford the moving and reassembly process. So, they prefer to keep the building on their original sites and run their businesses after some restoration.

"The inside of most of the ancient houses is not suitable for living any more, so restoration and decoration inside the houses would be necessary", said Ren. He added that in this way the ancient house could be revived.

"The ancient buildings are only for sightseeing, but more importantly they should serve people's lives", said Ren.

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