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Former house of Chiang Kai-shek to be demolished in Chongqing

By Liu Pingping (Global Times)

11:09, February 16, 2012

An on-going demolition of the residence of the former Kuomintang (KMT) leader Chiang Kai-shek in Yüzhong District, Chongqing, was recently exposed to the public.

The spokesman for Yüzhong District's Culture, Radio, Television, Press and Publication Bureau, told the Global Times that the idea of a "protective demolition," or demolition for safety purposes and a reconstruction according to original designs, was conceived during the Spring Festival in 2011.

The plan received official approval in November and demolition began in December 2011.

Luo Yu, author of the bestseller, The Lost Shangqing Temple (Shizong De Shangqingsi), a book about the preservation of cultural relics and history of Chongqing, is worried about the reconstruction.

"When relics are demolished and later rebuilt, the soul of history also disappears. The most valuable underground passage in the residence cannot be restored," he wrote on his verified Sina.com microblog.

However, the spokesman of the bureau argued that Chiang's residence has eroded overtime and was identified as dangerous after sustaining a certain degree of damage.

Chiang's residence is currently located inside the Fudan high School boundaries, which means reconstruction will benefit the school and protect the relics, the spokesman added.

Xu Xiaoyu, manager of the Cultural Relic Management Institute of Yüzhong District in Chongqing, said that Chiang's residence will be reconstructed at its former address in August 2012 and the new building, expected to be completed in October 2013, will serve as an Anti-Japanese War History Museum open to the public free of charge.

The news came about two weeks after the residence of Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin, famous Chinese architects, were completely demolished in Beijing in January 2012.

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