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Ancient village saved by Chinese philanthropist opens as Shanghai resort

中国慈善家将“拯救下”的古村庄改造成上海度假村



One of the ancient villas at its original site in Fuzhou. Chinese entrepreneur Ma Dadong used his own money to relocate 50 Ming and Qingdynasty villas, and 10,000 camphor trees, which faced destruction from Fuzhou to Shanghai.

原址在抚州的其中一个古别墅。中国企业家马达东斥资将面临破拆的50座明清别墅和1万棵古樟树从福州迁移到上海。

Shanghai (CNN) — According to Confucius: "The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."

上海(CNN)---孔子云:“移大山始于运小石?!?br />
Chinese entrepreneur Ma Dadong, 44, didn't want to move a mountain, but his mission to relocate ancient village homes and a camphor forest 435 miles (700 kilometers), from his native Jiangxi province to the outskirts of Shanghai, would require a similar level of perseverance.

中国企业家马达东,44岁,无意移山,但是他想从江西老家将古村庄及435英里(700公里)的古樟树迁移到上海郊区这一任务所需的毅力,与移山无区别。


  
The village and trees in their original location in Fuzhou.

抚州原址的村落和树。

Over a 15-year period, in what must be one of the most extraordinary examples of philanthropic conservation in modern China, Ma orchestrated the painstaking transportation of 50 Ming and Qing dynasty properties and 10,000 trees, some of which were believed to be over 1,000 years old.

马生花了15年时间,精心安排50座明清建筑和1万棵树的运输艰难,据估算这些建筑有一千多年历史,这无疑是现代社会慈善?;な乱底钕灾睦又?。

On January 8, the relocated site will open as a luxury hotel, Amanyangyun, the last two words in that portmanteau meaning "nourishing cloud."

1月8日,迁移点将以豪华饭店“养云安缦”开业。命名为“养云”,意为养心中的和气祥云。



Success story

成名史

Ma left his home city of Fuzhou, aged 22, to earn what would become a fortune in advertising. He subsequently diversified and today is chairman of the Shanghai Gu Shan, an investment management company, and Shanghai Gu Yin Real Estate. While Ma hasn't featured on any Forbes rich lists and his companies are privately held, he is rumored to be a billionaire.

马生22岁那年离开抚州老家,在广告行业打拼挣钱。他随后越来越多元化,时至今日已是投资管理公司上海古杉以及上海古胤置业有限公司的董事长。尽管马生从未登上福布斯富豪榜,其公司也是私人企业,但据传他是亿万富翁。

In 2002, aged 29, the entrepreneur made a trip home to visit his parents. During that visit, Ma learned of the government's plans for the Liao Fang reservoir -- a project that would submerge ancient villages and millenarium camphor trees in Jiangxi underwater.

2002年,29岁的马先生回老家探亲。就是那次探亲,马生了解到政府的廖坊水库计划,这一片古村庄及千年古樟树将会被淹没。



Construction of the dam that land was flooded to build was completed in 2006.

土地淹没以建大坝,2006年完工。

"My instincts told me what to do: to rescue everything from the area destined for the reservoir," Ma tells CNN. "At that time, I knew it was the right thing to do, but I didn't have a clear goal of what I would eventually do with these houses and trees."

马生和CNN记者说:“我的直觉告诉我我要这样做:要拯救即将成为水库的这片区域上的任何东西”,“在那个时候,我知道这是正确的事,但我还没有最终的想法要怎么处理这些房子和树木?!?br />
Having recently sold his advertising company, Ma says he had the financial resources to throw at the rescue mission, although he won't confirm the cost of the project beyond saying it totaled millions of dollars.

最近马生卖了他的广告公司,他说他有金融渠道可以进行这个拯救任务,虽然他没和我们确认总共花了多少钱,只说要数百万美金。

Learning curve

学习曲线

The project turned out to be a huge learning curve, with unexpected issues constantly arising. "The whole process was just like digging a well -- you don't know exactly how many meters deep the water is, but you are certain you will reach it if you just keep digging," says Ma.

这个项目确实是个巨大的“学习曲线”,不断出现新的问题?!罢龉叹拖裢诰?,你不知道得挖多深才有水,但你确信只要一直挖就肯定能挖到水,”马生如是说。


  
Bricks are marked with numbers before the houses are reconstructed.

房子重建前,他们都会给每块砖标上编码。

Each residence was comprised of about 100,000 stones, and had to be carefully dissembled. Ma cast a wide net to hire a team of more than 200 people to perform that task, seeking out rare craftsman who understood the traditional techniques used to build ancient properties, which are unfamiliar to modern Chinese construction workers.

每个民居都由10万多块石头组成,要小心翼翼的拆下来。马生广撒网请了一个小组20多人来完成这个任务,并寻找那些了解古建筑工艺的罕见工匠,因为现代工人不了解古建筑特性。

Arborists were enlisted to move the trees, and new roads and bridges had to be built to allow large trucks to maneuver the massive camphors from the remote location. Some were 20 meters tall, and the largest weighed 80 tons.

他也招募到育树专家来迁移这些树木,也开建新路、新桥,以便大型卡车运输大量的古樟树从江西运到上海。其中有些树20米高,最大的重量有80吨。

"The village was in a mountainous region with small, winding roads and no way for big trucks to pass through," says Ma. "The task was not without danger. When it rained, floods overturned trucks and shattered the temporary bridges constructed to access remote villages."

马生说“村子坐落在山地,这里路又小又弯,大型卡车根本开不进来”,“这任务其实挺危险的,下雨天,洪水能掀翻卡车,冲垮临时搭建通往村庄的桥?!?br />   
Bricks and stones are organized and stored before they are used to build the new resort in Shanghai.

砖块和石头都被排放好储存,以便日后用于建筑上海的新度假村。



Ma decided to store the dissembled homes in a former air conditioning unit factory he owned on the outskirts of Shanghai, and identified a nearby 200,000 square meter parcel of public land to eventually house the trees, despite the vast distance the objects would have to travel to get there.

马生决定把分解下来的民居置于他在上海郊区的一间前身为空调厂的厂房。并且搞定了附近一块20万平米的公共土地来最终放置这些民居和树木,虽然离目的地是有点远。

"The team raced against time to Shanghai in order for each tree to have the best of chance of survival," said Ma. The project saw dozens of trucks make numerous trips over a 12-month period.

“我们整个小组都在和时间赛跑尽快把东西运到上海,为的就是争取树木存活的机会”,马生如是说。在这12多个月,整个项目见证了几十辆卡车多次来回穿梭。


  
The camphor forest at its new site in Shanghai.

古樟树移植到上海的新址。

After being uprooted, the trees' root system -- which can stretch as wide as their branches span -- have to be constantly watered as well as protected from overexposure to sunshine.

连根拔起之后,树的整个根部横跨面积可以有树荫这么大,所以需要不断给他浇水,还要避免暴晒。

Due to the work of the expert arborists, 80% of the trees survived the journey, and just over 1,000 of them are now featured in the Aman resort. The others, planted on public land, will form a park that Ma says will eventually be open to the public.

幸亏育树专家的指导,最后有80%的树都存活下来,有超过1千多棵树安放在养云安缦度假村。马生说剩下的树都种植在一公共土地上,最终会做成公园并对公众开放。

Finding a future for the past

让未来重现历史

By 2005, everything had been relocated to Shanghai's outer Minhang district, about 30km from the city center, still with no plan for their future.

到了2005年,所有东西都迁移到上海的外闵行区,离市中心大约30km,下一步要怎么做尚未确定。

"When all the trees arrived in Shanghai, we met many people who wanted to buy them. I could not sell even one of them because I wanted all the trees to be together," Ma says. "I grew up in the sweet company of those trees and houses; I had a poignant and emotional tie to them."

马生说“在所有树木迁移到上海的时候,有很多人想买这些树。但我不会卖因为我想保持这些树木完整,我是在那些树和房子的温馨陪伴下长大的,我和它们有着独特的情感联系?!?br />

  
The relocated materials were stored in a former air conditioning unit factory in Shanghai.

从江西迁移的材料都存放在上海一家前身为空调厂的厂房里。

That year Ma created what he calls the "Concept House" -- an experiment which used some of the relocated ancient materials to create a new home incorporating modern plumbing and windows to let in more natural light.

那一年马生创造出他所称的“概念房子”,利用迁移过来的古建筑材料和现代管道、窗户相结合,建造一间更透光的房子。

The rest of the materials were logged in the warehoused and left to wait.

其余的材料都储存在仓库,等待下次使用。

Perfect partner

完美伙伴

In 2011, Aman inked a deal with Ma to transform the dissembled ancient Jiangxi village homes, which were between 300 and 500 years old, and some of the trees, into a hotel property and public park. The international hotel group had learned of the Chinese entrepreneur's trove after Ma had a chance meeting with Aman's Indonesian founder and former chairman Adrian Zecha.

2011年,养云安缦集团和马生签署了协议,将有300-500年历史的江西古村民居以及一部分树改造成酒店和公园。在马生和安缦国际的印尼创始人兼前任董事阿德里安·泽查(Adrian Zecha)偶然会晤后,安缦国际酒店集团了解到这位中国企业家的藏品。


  
Thhe master bedroom in an Antique Villa.

一古宅院落里的主卧室。

Neither party will confirm details of the deal.

双方都没有确认协议细节。

The resort features 24 new one-bedroom courtyard suites and 13 "antique villas," which have four bedrooms and incorporate the rebuilt ancient Jiangxi village homes. Once visitors cross the threshold of the ancient stone exteriors, however, there is little resemblance to the village homes of centuries past inside -- although there are still courtyards within each property.

度假村有24间标准套房,13间古宅院落。古宅院落有4间卧室,并入古江西村落风格。然而,当游客跨过古石门槛,会发现内部与过去几个世纪的村落房不大相像,虽然每栋别墅都有其庭院。

The root of the problem

问题根源

The project, however, hasn't been without controversy.

然而,这个项目也并非没有争议的。

Aman said in its initial press literature that its new resort featured 10,000 relocated camphor trees. In reality, only about 1,150 on the property. The Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) confirmed to CNN that it is investigating whether Aman was misleading about the number of trees, and their age (not all of the camphors are ancient) to make a financial gain.

安缦集团说在其最初的新闻稿中写的是会有1万棵古樟树,事实上只有1150棵。上海工商管理总局向CNN证实,并称在调查安曼是否误导大众关于树木的数量以及年限(并非所有樟树都年份久远),以获得经济收益。

Furthermore, ancient trees -- classified as those over 80 years old -- are governed by heritage protection laws severely restricting what can be done with them. The laws are designed to protect old-growth forests from being felled, or trees being damaged as they are transplanted from one place to another. It is unclear how Ma's project complied with this legislation.

此外,这些古树,即超过80年的树,受遗产?;しㄑ细癜压?,对古树的处理有严格限制。该?;しㄖ荚诒;す爬仙置馐芸撤?,或者在转移过程中受损。目前尚不清楚马生的项目是如何规避这一关的。

Neither Ma nor Aman were prepared to comment on any potential investigation.

马生和安缦集团都不打算对任何调查进行评论。



The village in its original location.

古村原址。

China doesn't have a stellar track record when it comes to preservation in the face of economic development. In 2002, at around the same time Ma learned of the Liao Fang reservoir, many hundreds of villages and a total of 1.4 million people were in the process of being resettled to make way for the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydro-electric project. Of the 632 square kilometers flooded for that project, the majority was covered by forest. The result was deforestation and interruption in traditional biospheres that is still being examined.

在面对经济发展上,中国在遗产?;し矫姹硐植⒚挥泻芎?。2002年,几乎也是在马生了解到廖坊水库计划的时候,因为三峡大坝工程,这个世界上最大的水电工程,成百上千个村庄,合计140多万村民进行大迁移。这个项目方圆632平方公里范围内,大部分都覆盖是着森林。因为水电工程,导致森林退化和传统生态圈检测中断。

Today, the area where the Fuzhou villages and trees once stood is flooded.

曾经抚州古村和树林矗立的地方,如今已被洪水淹没。

Ma says he is simply pleased he has rescued a slice of history from being lost to the water.

马生说他很高兴自己能把即将消逝在水中的历史挽救出来。