The heated debate over the controversial replica plan of Beijing's Old Summer Palace, or Yuanmingyuan , has escalated when the construction side defended itself against the latest accusation from the palace.
Part of the "Hengdian New Yuanmingyuan Garden" model
"The replica of Yuanmingyuan , which is thousands of kilometers away from its original site, will do no harm to the existing ruins," said Xu Wenrong, the project advocator and Council for cooperative creating, common holding, joint enriching and mutual benefits chairman.
Old Summer Palace authorities finally broke their long silence on Wednesday, saying they opposed the replica of the resort, a local newspaper reported.
"The Old Summer Palace is unique and irreplaceable. A full-size replica is neither possible nor tolerable," Beijing Morning Post quoted Zong Tianliang, a spokesman for the garden.
He said the construction, if needed, should be conducted with reference to sufficient historical documents.
"The existing documents, both at home and abroad, are only able to reveal a 70 percent picture of the original garden, let alone the numerous cultural relics in it," he added.
A Chinese company affiliated to a non-governmental organization launched plans last year to build a full copy of the vast gardens in Hengdian Town, a filming site that provides sets for Chinese films and TV dramas in the eastern Zhejiang Province.
The organization, Council for cooperative creating, common holding, joint enriching and mutual benefits, announced in Beijing on Feb. 18 that the construction work would be kicked off later in the year.
Zong called the construction plan "needless".