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China-themed hotel in Sweden nears 10th year of construction

Aug. 16, 2013 at 1:52 PM

GAVLE, Sweden, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A Chinese billionaire's China-themed hotel in Sweden is nearing its 10th year of construction, with only a museum, eatery and gift shop opened to the public.

Jingchun Li, who made billions in the mosquito repellant industry, purchased the former Hotell Alvkarlen near Galve in 2004 and said he planned "to unite China and Sweden" by turning the building into a Chinese-themed hotel dubbed the Dragon Gate, The Local.se reported Friday.

However, construction on the hotel has yet to be completed and the restaurant, gift shop and museum, which stores 200 replica terracotta soldiers, have thus far made only about $845,000 of the $30.7 million invested in the project.

"The hotel is not ready yet, it will open next year in the spring," said Kenny Li, who works in the Dragon Gate restaurant. "It's an old hotel that's being rebuilt, and these things take a long time. The water system needs to be reinstalled, for example. It takes longer to rebuild an old hotel than to build a hotel from scratch."

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