A two-storey building in downtown Shanghai has narrowly avoided demolition after it was covered in posters of President Xi Jinping.
The images went viral on social media after bemused locals uploaded photos of the property. Reports indicate that the posters may have temporarily spared the building from the bulldozers, but only temporarily.
Subsequent photos showed policemen removing Xi’s visage from the building. It is said to have been built illegally and is due to be knocked down soon.
— 变态辣椒 (@remonwangxt) March 26, 2016
Speaking with the SCMP, Chen Daoyin, a professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, believed that the posters demonstrated a shift from rule of law to cult of personality.
“They were trying to play with others’ fear by demonstrating the symbol of a mighty ruling power,” said Chen.
We’ve seen countless examples of the “nail house” over the years, even if they’ve never made such a bold move to fight demolition. There was the one sitting atop the 20-meter mound of dirt in the middle of a construction site in Sichuan. Also worth a mention was the Hubei nail house being slowly consumed by surrounding development.
The most tragic example of this phenomena, however, has to be the nail grave which lies in the middle of a road in Shangrao city of Jiangxi province.