Is antiques market set to become history?

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An antiques street market popular among overseas tourists looking for quirky Chinese souvenirs could lose its charm as the homes it's based around face demolition.

The Shanghai Dongtai Road Antique Market, which has been running for more than 30 years, features around 150 stalls along Dongtai Road and Liuhekou Road.

Most are small booths along the streets and little stores in the ground floor of residential buildings.

"If demolition takes place, it's inevitable that the stores inside residential buildings will be lost," an employee of Liuhe neighborhood committee, who declined to give his name, said yesterday.

Stall owners said they don't know if the antique market will be retained in some form after the residential buildings are demolished.

The market supervisor was not available for comment yesterday.

Huangpu District government said there is currently no information to say that the market will be closed.

"Whatever happens, the market won't be the same as it is now," said stall owner Ma Yuanxiu.

Ma, 79, has been running his stall at the market for 30 years, selling old furniture, currency, photographs and vintage machinery.

He said he collects from city householders who are throwing out old things and people in rural areas.

"The market is like a home to me. Many stall owners here are neighbors and old friends. If they weren't here, I'd feel that I'd lost something," Ma said, waving to another stall owner coming over for a chat.

The antique market opened in the 1980s when several residents there began collecting old items and reselling them to antique dealers and collectors.

After some made lots of money, more residents joined in and they knocked down walls to open stores.

But as more people realized the value of old things, it became more difficult for stall owners to collect antiques.

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