A CHINESE replica of the iconic Sphinx will be dismantled after an Egyptian ministry complained about the structure.
The massive copy of the ancient statue has been erected in the northern province of Hebei.
However, Egypt’s ministry of antiquities has complained to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) about the imitation, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.
The agency is quoting an official with a cultural park on the outskirts of the provincial capital Shijiazhuang as saying the imitation would serve only as a temporary scene for shooting movies and television dramas.
“We are very respectful to world cultural heritage and express our apologies for any misunderstanding,” added the official, who declined to be named.
The replica, about 80 metres long and 30 metres tall, is made of steel bars and cement.
Already notorious for copying Western goods ranging from running shoes to champagne, China is building up its replica reputation with a miniature Mount Rushmore, an Eiffel Tower and an entire Austrian village.
In the south-western megacity of Chongqing, a park is scattered with sculptures including Michelangelo’s David, Rodin’s Thinker and the gigantic heads of four American presidents in a trend known as “duplitecture”.
An assemblage of Parisian monuments including the Eiffel Tower and a fountain from Versailles stand in the city of Hangzhou, as does a French village.
Among the most eye-popping examples are a copy of the Austrian alpine village and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hallstatt in the southern province of Guangdong, which even state media called “a bold example of China’s knock-off culture”.