A college in Wuhan, Hubei is under fire after it allegedly plagiarised the design of an iconic gate at the prestigious Tsinghua University.
The Wuhan Marine Vocational College denied it copied the Tsinghua arch after local newspaper Chutian Metropolis Daily pointed out the two structures look almost exactly the same.
The Wuhan Marine Vocational College gate features the Chinese idiom, hou de zai wu, meaning “gentlemen with noble characters should take up great social responsibilities.” The phrase is part of Tsinghua University’s motto.
Vice chancellor Lian Haibo told the newspaper that the “European-style” gate was built in 2014 “because of the school’s overseas connections,” and that similarity with the Tsinghua gate was unexpected.
The Tsinghua University stone arch is a landmark of the elite Beijing school. Built in late Qing Dynasty, it was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and rebuilt in 1991.
Earlier this year, another Wuhan educational institution sparked controversy after it spent RMB4 million (HK$4.8 million) of students’ tuition fees to build a replica of the Great Wall on campus.
China is home to numerous rip-offs of world landmarks.
A fake Arc de Triomphe recently appeared in Zhengzhou, Henan.
In 2011, a developer in Guangdong copied an entire Austrian village and made it into a residential project.