Shanghai Disney park to be built on graveyard: state media

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The Independent Online

Chinese authorities are trying to move 1,200 tombs from the future site of the planned Disney theme park in Shanghai before construction begins, state media said Thursday.

The municipal government has offered compensation to the families of the deceased to help them bury their ancestors elsewhere, the Shanghai Daily reported, citing cemetery officials.

Villagers in Chuansha county on the city's eastern outskirts will receive 300 yuan (43 dollars) for each relative moved to a new burial ground, the newspaper reported.

"More than 400 tombs have been moved so far," said Ding Guojun, the general manager of Huilong Cemetery, which is involved in the grave relocation programme.

Chinese tradition dictates that a good burial place is crucial and a poor spot could mean the restless ghosts of ancestors may bring misfortune to their descendants.

The Shanghai government and Disney announced last month that authorities in Beijing had approved the theme park, which would be one of the biggest-ever foreign investments in China.

Disney has not released any figures or a timeframe for the project, but previous reports have said the park's first phase - a theme park, a hotel and shopping outlets - would cost up to 24.5 billion yuan.

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