Tu's home becomes instant attraction

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China's admiration of outstanding scholars has turned the well-preserved childhood home of Tu Youyou, the Chinese pharmacologist who won this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, into a popular tourist destination.

Since it was announced on Monday that 84-year-old Tu had become the first Chinese citizen to win the international prize, her former home in the old town of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, has attracted visitors, especially parents and their children-even though it is not open to the public.

Undated file photo shows Tu Youyou, a pharmacologist with the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, working to make artemisinin, a drug therapy for malaria, in 1980s.[Xinhua]

The house, which is for sale, is part of a complex of 37 traditional buildings, including several city-and district-level cultural relic preservation sites, that have been transformed into a high-end art and commercial zone.

Tu won the prize for developing a lifesaving malaria drug, artemisinin, a staple of traditional Chinese medicine, which has helped save millions of lives across the globe.

"There are continually parents taking their children, from infants in strollers to college students, to take photos in front of Tu's former home. Security guards have been ordered to go on patrol around the clock," said a salesperson surnamed Zhao, from Ningbo Real Estate Inc Co.

Shanghai resident Xu Lingfei, who was on a trip to Ningbo, took her 9-year-old son to walk around the complex on Wednesday.

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