The old Hangzhou residence of former Taiwan leader Chiang Ching-kuo, son of former Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek, has been turned into a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant recently, Chinanews.com reported on Monday.
The two-story villa was built in 1931 near West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Chiang and his family lived there from the end of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) until they left for Taiwan in 1949.
In earlier February, the controversial move came to public attention after a local bureau in Hangzhou approved McDonald’s application to open a coffeehouse in the old residence, with some people worrying that turning the house into a commercial place would go against the preservation of the historical site.
According to the report, the house has been closed to tourists for many years. “What a pity for such a renowned place not to be open to tourists,” an elderly woman who lives nearby said.
A previous report said the house was used by a tenant before, as a temporary home and gathering place for friends before it was leased to McDonald’s. Now after the renovation, the 334-suqare-meter restaurant house can seat 100 guests.
“So far, it’s a proper way to put the house to commercial use. But no changes should be made to its interior and exterior structure as historical sites should be well protected based on the requirements for the protection of cultural relics,” the report quoted a cultural relics expert as saying.
Two months earlier a Starbucks outlet opened in the side wing of the same house, the report said.
Source: China Daily