Mark Byrnes is a former senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
Why travel to Giza when Shijiazhuang has its own noseless replica?
For those in China who'd like to explore the ruins of ancient Egypt but can't afford the trip, a road trip to the outskirts of Shijiazhuang may suffice.
According to Chinese media outlets, a one-to-one replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza, missing nose and all, has emerged in the Hebei province. It's part of an under-construction theme park connected to a film and television studio.
Built in three months with steel and concrete and painted yellow, the 196 by 66-foot fake ruin is currently being used by film crews while attracting a steady stream of tourists and food vendors.
For a more comprehensive faux-Egypt experience in China (albeit at a smaller scale), for the time being you're still better off visiting Beijing World Park, where not only is there a Great Sphinx, but also pyramids and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Shijiazhuang's sphinx-anchored theme park is expected to open in October.
Top image: A man rides a horse past a full-scale replica of the Sphinx, that is part of an unfinished theme park that will also accommodate the production of movies, television shows and animation, on the outskirts of Shijiazhuang, Hebei province May 10, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)