China Demolishes Highway House

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 1 2012 2:22 PM

China Demolishes Highway House That Became Internet Sensation

This picture taken on November 22 shows the house in Wenling, in eastern China's Zhejiang province

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images

A five-story home that had been left as the only house in the middle of a highway was demolished Friday after becoming a worldwide sensation and the latest symbol of the frequent resistance by Chinese homeowners who are forced to make way for massive infrastructure projects. The house was demolished Saturday after the owners, a duck farmer and his wife, agreed to accept the $41,000 compensation, according to the Associated Press. The owner had previously said he had spent $95,000 to complete the house.

In China, homes left standing amid a big development are known as “nail houses” because they’re difficult to remove, points out Xinhua, noting that this one had been dubbed the toughest of all nail houses. The owner refused to move for more than a year. It’s unclear why the relocation offer was accepted now, but one person tells the AP the owner had grown tired of all the media attention.


Watch video of the home, and other "nail houses" across China, after the jump:

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.


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