Datong restores its ancient landscape

Updated: 2012-08-27 19:50


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The controversy surrounding the announcement by Kaifeng, a city in central Henan province, that they plan to spend billions of dollars restoring their old town, has turned the spotlight on a town that has been doing just that for a number of years.

In 2008 a newly elected mayor of Datong in Shanxi province announced plans to restore certain areas of historical importance in the old city. Since then Datong has spent tens of billions of dollars renovating its ancient walls and temples.

Datong has a history stretching back about 2,300 years and was one of the nine ancient capitals of China, along with Beijing and Xi'an.

As part of the plan, modern buildings located in the old city area have been moved out to better enable the renovated area to evoke its past glory.

The restoration project is due to be completed by the end of this year. According to the city's mayor the aim is to attract three million visitors a year who will pour an annual 300 million yuan ($47.19 million) into the city.