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'Nail house' in middle of road demolished

By Yang Jian (Shanghai Daily)

11:00, December 03, 2012

The five-story home pictured a day before it was finally torn down. Owner Luo Baogen signed a demolition agreement with the local government on Friday and accepted the compensation offered.

A HOUSE that had stood in the middle of a new road for more than a year was finally demolished yesterday morning in east China's Zhejiang Province, ending a long confrontation between the owner and the government over compensation.

The bizarre sight in Daxi Town in Wenling City made headlines worldwide after photographs were posted online.

Homes at the center of disputes like this, left standing while work proceeds around them, are known in China as "nail houses" because they stick out and are difficult to remove, like a particularly stubborn nail.

But this five-story nail house was finally torn down after owner Luo Baogen signed a demolition agreement with the local government on Friday and accepted the compensation offered.

Luo, 67, and his wife left before dawn yesterday, helped by relatives in the move. Their former home was bulldozed before 9am.

Local government offered 260,000 yuan (US$41,782) - 300 yuan per square meter - and 46 square meters of land nearby where Luo, who raises ducks, can build a new house, according to the demolition agreement.

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