January 29, 2009

Man’s dream is a scaled-down Great Wall

A Wisconsin man believes that a scaled-down -- but still large -- replica of the Great Wall of China would be a big draw for tourists.

Don Trent's proposed Great Wall would be a mile long, while the original wall in China stretches for some 4,000 miles. The scale model would be manned by Chinese terracotta soldier figurines.

The 70-year-old Spring Valley resident visualizes a Great Wall complex just off Interstate 94 in western Wisconsin with a 400-room hotel and an open-air theater, the Milwaukee Journal reports. He also visualizes the Beijing Opera at the grand opening.

The dream is to build the thing, he said. The Chinese are behind this; it's getting the Americans behind it.

So far, he has failed to find financing to buy the land and build the Great Wall. He believes it would be a winner, given the popularity of all things Chinese in the United States.

The Great Wall in its current form was built after the unification of China in 221 B.C. During the Ming dynasty, about 500 years ago, an estimated 1 million soldiers were posted to the Wall to protect China from the Manchus.