A mountain in Fumin prefecture, Yunnan province, has been painted green in order to “greenify” (绿化）what was considered by many to be an eyesore. According to news reports, the painting project began in July of last year. Now that this project has gotten widespread media attention, local authorities are scrambling to figure out who allowed this to happen. Actually, everyone knows that the man behind the project was a Sichuan businessman surnamed Du, who married a local woman and lives in sight of this mountain. In fact, his relationship with the mountain extends further back; the mountain had been contracted out to him by the local government. For awhile (we don’t know when he assumed control of it), he had made some money quarrying the mountain for (what we assume is) granite, but after about twenty years of quarrying, the mountain and surrounding environment had become depleted, and the local government closed it down in 2000.
The reason why Du decided to paint it green was because a feng shui master told him that the bald red rocks facing his home was impacting his businesses, which were going badly at the time. So Du hired seven men, gave them a f*ckload of paint, and told them to go at it. 45 days later, they were done. Du said it cost him 10,000 RMB. However, other reports suggest that the cost was 470,000 RMB. That’s kind of a big discrepancy.
As for the role local authorities played—now that the media is hounding them, they say had nothing to do with it, and that Du just did it on his own. One report states that someone from the local forestry department had said that since the mountain was not really forest or agricultural land, that it wasn’t under their jurisdiction, so Du could do whatever he wanted with it.
Recently, when asked about going through the authorities and obtaining the proper paperwork, Du replied that he didn’t know nothin’ about paperwork, and didn’t know which government office to go through.
Painting things green isn’t exactly news in China—we remember reading that Beijing painted the grass a bit greener during some major athletics event (the 1990 Asian Games, maybe) as well as more recently, when IOC officials came to visit the then candidate city that was bidding for the 2008 Olympics. Of course, this case is just a bit more egregious—who the hell picked that shade of green?
Muchos gracias to a Shanghaiist reader for the tip!
Photo from news.china.com