(From Chongqing online) Ancient dynastic style buildings, old temples, slab roads, ancient court replica, every thing looks pleasantly primitive and simple in Song Gai Ancient Town (松溉古镇), a historical tourist spot in Chongqing City. However, a recent post on the Internet pointed out a “humiliating” flaw in the court replica that ruins the overall antiquity of the ancient town: the judge and bailiffs are mannequins that look like westerner fashion models in ancient court costumes.
“Song Gai Town has rebuilt the Yongquan County Court , but inside all the characters are played by westerner looking mannequins.” Netizen “三溪夫子笔竿” posted on a forum on Nov 6th.
As seen in the photos, the court is demonstrating the legal trial situation in ancient China. Under the big plaque of justice sits the county magistrate as well as the judge.
4 bailiffs stand on both sides of the court holding sticks to keep order while a captain in red is reporting something to the county magistrate. There are about 10 dummies in ancient costumes simulating ancient Chinese court, but all are just fashion mannequins we see in the shopping mall.
Netizens comment that it feels weird to have westerner looking mannequins in the ancient court, saying “officials of the ancient town is careless about their jobs, it is simply wrong in that it doesn’t respect our history and that it hurts our patriotic feeling” “Such mistake from a historic tourist spot is humiliating” “Really awful, more brainless than illiterate”.
Reporter then interviewed the vice-chairman of the town Zhao Jin, who ascribed the problem to budget limitation: “it costs tens of thousand yuan to make a wax figure. This kind of plastic fashion mannequins on display is much cheaper.” According to a teacher from department of sculpture in Xichuan Fine Arts Institute, clay dummy is hard to preserve, the cheapest practical material will be glass-reinforced plastic but even that can cost 30 – 40 thousand yuan per figure.
Zhao Jin admitted that the fashion mannequins are a little too modern, so the town has proposed two solutions. One, to tune the original mannequins to ancient Chinese appearance by adding wrinkles and beard, as well as fixing the eyes; the other solution is to replace them all with Chinese looking figures, which again will be subject to budget since there is no ready made Chinese looking mannequins in fashion industry.