World Heritage Travel Site Not For Sale In China
Warning – this post is a bit of a rant because because the Forbidden City is a priceless historical site and one of THE top travel destinations in China. We are fortunate enough that the Forbidden City is open to the public for a small fee with pretty much full acccess. According to the news article below, some of China’s richer citizens with more money than taste, ethics and decency want to take over a part of the Forbidden City and turn in into an exclusive club. These cretins suffer delusions of grandeur and obviously miss the good old days when the Forbidden City was the sole domain of the Emperor. To them the Forbidden City is not a legacy to present and future generations but a commodity that can be bought and sold at their convenience. In their selfishness and egomania they wanted to deny both Chinese and foreign tourist access to a part of a world heritage site just so they could something new to brag about with their cronies and gain “face”.
Luckily sanity prevailed and plans for their club were denied. It is very worrying and disappointing though that the idea of a club even managed to reach the planning stage and was taken seriously. Methinks that money was paid to the right people, palms greased and “donations” made. Mao knew how to handle loaded low lifes and would have made short work of them.
Beijing’s Forbidden City has scotched plans for an exclusive club inside the historic imperial palace complex that raised hackles at a time when China faces public anger over a growing wealth gap.
State media reported recently that an elite club for the super-rich was being planned for a section of the sprawling complex at the heart of China’s capital, which is now operated as a vast museum.
Reports had said club memberships were being offered for the princely sum of one million yuan ($A145,000).
News of the plan went viral online, with Internet users criticising it as a sign of a creeping return to the feudalism that prevailed in imperial China for thousands of years until the 1911 collapse of the Qing Dynasty.
After initially denying the reports, authorities at the Palace Museum — as it is known in Chinese — issued a statement late Monday condemning the move.
“At present we have thoroughly put a stop to this inappropriate behaviour and have undertaken comprehensive changes,” it said.
It blamed the Beijing Forbidden City Cultural Development Company, a marketing arm of the museum, for going ahead with the proposal at the Jianfu Palace hall without approval.
The Palace Museum said the hall “cannot and will never become a luxurious private club for the global elite and wealthy”.
The state-run Global Times newspaper said “elites of society” had been invited to attend an opening ceremony, where “national treasures” would be on display and armed police would stand watch in “ancient warrior costumes.”
The Jianfu Palace — or the Palace of Established Happiness — was built in 1740, destroyed in a fire in 1923, but recently restored by a Hong Kong tycoon, reports said.
“This is shameless… they are using a public cultural establishment to seek private profit,” netizen Xia Jianzhong said in a microblog entry, echoing many postings.
“It would be better to change the name to the ‘Shameless Museum’.”
The Forbidden City has a nearly 600-year history and served as the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is now among China’s top tourist attractions, drawing countless visitors since the Communist Party came to power in 1949.
Chinese officials are struggling to cool anger over widening income disparity, with high inflation putting further pressure on the country’s hundreds of millions of low-income farmers and industrial workers.