Lots of people like Harry Potter novels, but a university in China’s Hebei province is taking fandom to a whole new level by building a campus that looks suspiciously like the boy wizard’s beloved alma mater.
Pictures on the Internet of the Hebei Academy of Fine Arts in the city of Xinle show a medieval-looking castle complex, complete with turrets and spires, that bears a striking resemblance to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where Harry and his pals polished their magical skills.
The newly built structure which is set to open later this year as the university’s animation school, is part of a $64 million campus which will also feature a pagoda, a mosque, a cathedral and four helipads, according to China Central Television.
The designers of the animation school say the new campus is influenced by the castles of medieval Europe, and deny any direct relation with Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.
JK Rowling’s books about the boy wizard and his pals have sold well in China and had already inspired many copycats, although this is the first reported case of Potter-esque architecture.
Chinese followers of the Potter series had already made headlines in the past, however, by creating their own set of Harry novels in the local language. At least 12 “original” Potter tomes have been published in China including:
- “Harry Potter and the Waterproof Pearl”
- “Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Harry Potter”
- “Harry Potter and the Chinese Porcelain Doll”
- “Harry Potter and the Chinese Overseas Students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”
- “Harry Potter and Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters”
Copycat architecture has become popular across the country, with Starwood Hotels opening up a hostelry in a faux Bavarian castle in Dalian, and some embarrassed antiquities enthusiasts (also in Hebei) being forced to take down a fake Sphinx after complaints from the Egyptian government.