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Beijing Restoring Original Appearance of Hutongs

 "Skyscrapers can be seen anywhere around the world, but Hutong (lane or alley) is the unique feature of Beijing," said a Canadian tourist after his tour of Nanluoguxiang Hutong.

Nanluoguxiang Hutong is located near the axis of Beijing. In the beginning of 2006, Beijing municipal government started a project to rebuild some famous Hutongs, including Nanluoguxiang. Some Beijingers are worried lest the rebuilding damage, even destroy the original feature of Hutongs; however, the project has its aim only to restore the Hutongs to their original conditions.

The protection of Hutongs together with the quadrangles in Beijing is actually to protect the Hutong culture, as it will play a very important part in responding to the BOCOG's "humanistic Olympics" slogan, as Hutongs are the live record of history and culture of Beijing as an ancient capital.

Hutongs have not changed much since they were built, which will make it easy to restore their original appearance. After rebuilding, the names of the alleys and quadrangles will all be kept.

Though the Hutongs will still look the same as before from the outside, life in Hutongs will be more convenient, as tap water and sewerage will be installed.

(Chinanews.cn August 14, 2006)

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