China

China adds yet another sphinx to its many replica monuments

A replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza at the Lanzhou Silk Road Cultural Relics Park in Lanzhou city, 31 May 2016. Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Lanzhou hopes to put itself on the visitor map with the giant copies

A huge replica sphinx has been built in China, the latest in a series of copies of the ancient Egyptian monument in the Middle Kingdom.

As well as the knockoff Great Sphinx of Giza, the Lanzhou Silk Road Cultural Relics Park has built replicas of the Greek Parthenon and other world wonders.

Lanzhou, in northwest China, is hoping the famous fakes will draw tourists, as well as the film and gaming industries, reported China Daily.

The town was once a major trading hub on the Silk Road, which China is trying to revive.

It is just the latest of many copies of world famous monuments, and sometimes entire towns, to appear in the country.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Sphinxes of the corn?

This sphinx may not be the largest but, made partly of corn, it blended well with its natural surroundings at an exhibition in Shouguang, Shandong province, in April.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption This sphinx didn't win fans in Egypt

The head of this sphinx - almost the size of the Giza original - here separated from its body, on the outskirts of Shijiazhuang, Hebei province.

It was recently dismantled by local authorities after Egypt complained to Unesco that its use as a film and TV filming location violated international conventions, the People's Daily reported.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A true work of art?

This one possibly looks a little past its best, but can you guess where it is? (Answer below).

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Artistic license or faithful reproduction?

This full-size replica in Chuzhou, Anhui province, is, like the latest one, part of a "heritage park", although this version has been livened up considerably with some paint.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A sphinx of ice and snow

Corn, stone, plaster... ice? The creators of China's monumental fakes are certainly inventive with building materials, as this giant frozen sculpture at the Ice and Snow Festival in northeast Harbin demonstrates.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A tribute to the wisdom of The Ancients

Perhaps hoping to recapture some of the ancient wisdom represented by Giza's iconic structures, a library in Wuhan, central China, is shaped like a pyramid, with a somewhat creative replica of the Great Sphinx standing outside.

But the fondness for foreign replication does not end with ancient Egypt.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Straddling two cultures

Replicas of famous Washington buildings are common in China, but this is surely the only one that combines the Capitol with a Chinese temple design.

The same park, in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, also contains replicas of the pyramid at France's Louvre, some Chinese ancient buildings and, of course, Giza's Sphinx.

Image copyright Johannes Eisele/AFP
Image caption Almost like being there

France is a not just popular with Chinese tourists leaving the country. Copycat Eiffel Towers can be found all over, with this one in a luxury real estate development in Hangzhou, eastern China, standing at an impressive 108m (350ft).

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A useful addition to any housing estate

The builders of this housing development in Hefei, eastern China, were doubtless grateful they had slightly more modern tools to hand than did the creators of the original Stonehenge in the UK.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Why travel?

Less common than some of the iconic Western sights, Moscow's Kremlin nonetheless gets its own mini-me in Beijing's World Park.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Competing with ancient perfection

And that one we were not sure about? Here it is from another angle. Yes, it is the Egyptian original. No, not convincing at all.

Related Topics

More on this story