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Keeping historical sites away from mercenary stinks

(People's Daily Online)

13:41, September 27, 2012

(File photo)

The world's largest coffee chain Starbucks opened a shop in the scenic spot of Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou on Sept. 22, which immediately triggered a surge of scoffs and criticism.

In 2009, Starbucks could not withstand criticism and bid farewell to the Forbidden City after being "stationed" in the "Jiuqing Room" (the place where the Nine Chief Ministries waited for instructions from the Emperor) for seven years. Different from the shop in the Forbidden City, Starbucks did not move directly into the temple this time. According to sources, the Temple itself is a religious place, and the Lingyin Scenic Spot outside the temple is under the management of the relevant committee of the Hangzhou municipality. It seems like there is nothing wrong for the owner to introduce Starbucks out of the intention of exploiting the cultural and commercial value of the spot.

Actually, less than 50 meters away from the Starbucks, the Hongzhou Lingyin Leisure Travel Shopping Center, which consists of the Zhiweiguan Hotel, KFC, supermarkets, shopping malls, and costume restaurants has already been operating for six months. The Shopping Center was even referred to as the "wrap up" of the Lingyin Comprehensive Conservation Project since it changed the originally small-scale, low-grade, and messy-layout business landscape of the Lingyin Scenic Spot.

Another important reason that makes Starbucks become the target of public criticism is that "it is a cup of coffee in a simple perspective, but a cultural symbol in a more complex sense."

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Source:Xinhuanet, author: Duan Jingjing.

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