In a bizarre dispute, a skyscraper has been built around a tombstone in the city of Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province in China.
Building developers bought a cemetery with an eye to building a series of skyscrapers on the land. Prior to construction, locals were paid to relocate the graves, yet one family refused the proposed terms, forcing developers to build around the landmass.
The Sun UK reports that the family was offered £100,000 to move the tombstone but denied the offer.
The single tombstone is located in a 10-metre high mould with the burial plot and headstone above the foundation.
The land is designed to house a cluster of towers so the grave area is already overshadowed by one high rise residential building and is currently sitting among the steel foundations of another future tower.
Construction workers are being challenged as they continue to work on the proposed building around the burial site.
In what is looking to be an architectural nightmare, it is not yet evident how the landowners will access the site after the new residential tower is built around it.
A number of houses in China have received similar press in the last few months including a recent dispute in Wenling, Zhejiang where a four-road motorway and railroad was built around a couple’s house that refused to move.
The home has now been demolished following a new compensation agreement.
The term “nail house” is being used to describe the homes of property owners in China (often referred to as stubborn nails) who refuse to co-operate and make room for proposed developments.
It refers to the analogy that a nail is not easy to be pulled out of a piece of wood, and in the case of the burial site, not even a hammer would work.
These strange disputes are becoming more frequent since the People’s Republic of China renewed its Communist era property rights in 2007. Private ownership of property was initially abolished but now residents are protected and it is illegal to demolish property by force without an agreement.