The dragon’s body forms a nine-meter-high wall running for kilometers along the backbone of the ridge. The project is expected to cost 300 million yuan to complete.
“The planned dragon is like an expressway which will damage vegetation, affect the landscape and destroy the local ecological system,” said Wu Mingzuo, director of Henan Ecology Society.
The Zhengzhou environmental protection administration said they had learned of the project through media reports.
Li Xianmin, deputy head of the department of publicity in Zhengzhou, said in Beijing on Wednesday that the project had received so much publicity because Zulong Company had been trying to promote it via the Internet.
Some 5.6 million pieces of white marble and gilded bronze are to form the dragon’s scales which are supposed to be “symbolic of the country’s 56 ethnic groups”. Display rooms offering themes of filial piety and patriotism are to be set up in the dragon’s hollow body.
For a fee, people will be able to have their names and messages inscribed on the scales, and companies can advertise the dragon’s head.
The project was already under fire from some experts who said it was inappropriate, the Shanghai Daily said on Tuesday.
“Shizu mountain is a symbol of Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, who is considered the earliest ancestor of China,” the paper quoted Dai Songcheng, director of the Henan institute of culture, as saying.
“Such an immense structure on the mountaintop is disrespectful to Huangdi.”
At least 50 workers were busy putting the finishing to the dragon’s head on Tuesday.