China to recreate Shakespeare’s birthplace to draw tourists

Published on : Friday, December 8, 2017

china tourismAs part of a new town called San Weng, The People’s Republic of China is planning to recreate two of William Shakespeare’s family homes.



Translating as “Three Masters”, San Weng will be a major new tourist attraction celebrating Shakespeare, Cervantes and Tang Xianzu, the last of whom is regarded by some as the Shakespeare of the East.



A MoU was signed between Fuzhou Culture and Tourism Investment Company with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the charity responsible for taking care of leading Shakespeare heritage sites and collections around the world, on 7 December.



According to the MoU, they are planning to create “little Stratford-upon-Avon” replicating the building of Shakespeare’s birthplace and his family home. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will supervise the project to check that the replica buildings faithfully represent the original ones.




However, this will be difficult in the case of New Place – the house that the playwright called home for 19 years until his death in 1616 no longer exists in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was demolished by Reverend Francis Gastrell in 1759; a new heritage site comprised of gardens and sculptures inspired by Shakespeare’s life and work was unveiled there in 2016.




The archaeological findings and records held by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will be used by China to create the replica.




Philippa Rawlinson, deputy chief executive of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said “We are delighted to enter this agreement to co-operate as partners in this exciting project to bring Shakespeare’s family homes to life for visitors to San Weng.” Philippa continued saying that While China is an important growth market for in-bound tourism to the five Shakespeare homes and gardens in Stratford-upon-Avon, this project will enable millions more people who might never have the opportunity to visit us in the UK the chance to explore the shared Shakespeare heritage in China.

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