Guangdong puts old houses up for “adoption”

GUANGZHOU, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) — Southern China’s Shixing County, known for its distinct traditional Weilou houses, has put 10 of the buildings up for “adoption” to have them renovated.

Enterprises and individuals are encouraged to adopt the rundown houses dating back to the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

There are about 250 Weilou houses in Shixing in Guangdong Province. Many of the ancient buildings are in a bad state of repair, as the building owners lack the funds or skills for renovation work, and some of the houses are not eligible for government-funded protection as they are not old enough.

In 2012, Shixing put 28 Weilou houses up for adoption, with some turned into stylish boutique hotels, much sought after by tourists.

According to the plan, the historical buildings must remain in their original setting, and major structural changes are not allowed during the restoration, which is under county government review.

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