Segments in this Video

“The Park of a Thousand Lands” (05:20)


The park contains replicas of the Great Pyramid of Giza and other famous monuments from around the world. A tour guide drives a family by a replica of the Eiffel Tower before taking them to a display apartment in Sky City.

Copycat Architecture (03:37)

Author Bianca Bosker discusses China's urbanization campaign and a project that led to replicas of other areas from around the world being built in Shanghai; Holland Village is one example.

Basilica of Our Lady of Peace (09:53)

Pierre Fakhoury designed the Ivory Coast church, drawing inspiration from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome; it is a legacy of President Felix Houphouët-Boigny. Father Stanislaw Skuza leads a service.

Thames Town (03:29)

Anthony Mackay recalls the Shanghai Planning Authority hiring him to build the English-themed district. Mackay's stance on the idea of copying has softened.

Sky City (08:47)

An educator outlines plans for her kindergarten room in Tianducheng. She explains why she moved to the housing estate, which contains a giant replica of the Eiffel Tower. In Paris, Jean-Francois Staszak discusses replicas and “the geography of the imagination.”

Taj Mahal Tribute (06:00)

A man explains why he is building a replica in Dubai. He hopes it will stand for 100 to 150 years.

London Tower Bridge (08:01)

A wedding photographer takes photos of a couple standing on a replica of the British landmark in Suzhou, China. It is a popular destination for newlyweds.

Mirage or Reality? (04:18)

In Tianducheng, the educator is missing a Chinese flag for her classroom. A local man, who describes himself as a philosopher, believes the city is a symbolic merger of western and Chinese cultures. Culture is not defined by nationality.

Pilgrims in Yamoussoukro (03:58)

Father Skuza and his congregation prepare for a big event at Basilica of Our Lady of Peace. As many as 120,000 people will celebrate "the extraordinary jubilee of mercy."

Credits: The Real Thing: Real Life in a Copycat World (00:48)

Credits: The Real Thing: Real Life in a Copycat World

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The Real Thing: Real Life in a Copycat World

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Nowadays, people can live in the Doge's Palace of Venice in China or pray in a copy of St. Peter's Basilica in West Africa. This program investigates these and other replicas of the world's most famous landmarks to understand why they were built and how they are inhabited. Doppelgängers are as ancient as the history of architecture, but today's copies have changed in both scale and purpose. Between lucrative investments, architectural piracy, and modern tourism, each of these places expresses an aspect of how cities are shaped by globalization. Are these replicas heralds of a world of closed borders, where tourists will travel safely without moving? Are they really about cultural exchange, as real estate executives say? What do they tell us about their mostly European models, that are also transformed by mass tourism?

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL196482

ISBN: 978-1-64867-546-1

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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