A $940 million clone of one of Austria’s most picturesque villages recently opened its doors to visitors in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

Hallstatt in Upper Austria is one of nation’s precious jewels. Nestled deep in the beautiful Northern Limestone Alps beside a clear mountain lake, the village has a unique history and culture dating back to prehistoric times, and is known for its ancient salt production.

Now it has competition from a clone halfway around the world. Chinese metals and mining company China Minmetals Corporation spent $940 million to build a replica of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed village that recently opened its doors to tourism. An hour away from Huizhou city, near the ‘factory of the world’ Pearl River Delta, the controversial replica initially drew the ire from residents of the real Hallstatt. However, after realizing the unique marketing opportunity it presented, the mayor of the real Hallstatt flew out for the replica’s opening ceremony.

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