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Cashing in on Nobel laureate Mo's fame

(Global Times)

08:51, October 22, 2012

Just four days after Mo Yan was named Nobel laureate, officials in his hometown in Shandong Province came up with a 670-million-yuan ($107 million) plan to turn his iconic village into a tourism attractions, the Beijing News reported Thursday.

Mo has replied the report warily, if not slyly. "A lot of news has been written, some true, some only joking. Don't take it seriously," the author was quoted by the People's Daily Online as saying.

The local management committee of Mo's village wants to build a country club, a patriotic education center and plant sorghum on 10,000 mu (667 hectares) near his old house along the Jiaohe River. Numerous of Mo's works were inspired by his rural upbringing.

Mo's novel Red Sorghum published in 1986 was made into a film by director Zhang Yimou in 1987, which won the Golden Bear Award the following year.

"The farmers are against planting sorghum as the crop produces little profit," Fan Hui, director of the committee, told the Beijing News.

"We will have to pay farmers up to 10 million yuan every year. This has to be done even if it's a money loser," Fan Hui told the newspaper, adding that the project will take three years to complete.

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