Liang Sicheng is known as the “father of Chinese architecture.” He and his architect wife, Lin Huiyin, lived in an ancient courtyard home in Beijing from which they fought for the preservation of Beijing’s historic sites. Their home was demolished over the Lunar New Year holiday. The Guardian reports:
It was knocked down by developers over the lunar New Year, despite the fact it is rare for labourers to work during the festival, raising suspicions that the company hoped to avoid publicity.
A Beijing official told state news agency Xinhua the firm wanted to prevent the residence being harmed during last week’s holiday, apparently referring to the fireworks which are let off.
Other Chinese media quoted an unidentified developer as saying that the demolition was “in preparation for maintaining the heritage site” because the buildings were in bad condition.
But heritage protection activist Zeng Yizhi – who alerted city officials to the demolition – said they should have repaired the buildings.
“Liang and Lin made such a great contribution to the protection of Chinese ancient buildings. If their home can be torn down, then developers can do the same thing to hundreds of other ancient houses in the country,” he told China Daily.