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$950K Ferrari leaves tire tracks on 600-year old Ming Dynasty Structure

May 10, 2012

The ancient city walls of Nanjing were site of a botched Ferrari publicity stunt.

How better to celebrate your 20th anniversary than trashing some of the locals’ history? Ferrari celebrated its 20th anniversary into the Chinese market — their second largest market in the world! — by having a $950,000 screech around on top of Nanjing’s ancient city walls, a Ming dynasty-era structure more than 600-years old. The resulting tire tracks may be impossible to remove. CNN has the complete story.  The ensuing dust up has seen the predictable finger-pointing and scape-goating with Ferrari heaping all the blame on one employee.   Not yet identified are the local officials who permitted (or rented out) the site for the stunt’s use. China’s attitude toward its cultural patrimony is bifurcated, at best; there has been an active repatriation of Chinese antiques and antiquities through auction acquisitions and attempts to stem the illegal export of antiquities.  However, China’s rapid growth has resulted in the controversial demolition of numerous historic neighborhoods.  The Ferrari incident leans toward the latter in sentiment and is a foolish example of monetizing the country’s cultural patrimony.

$950,000 Ferrari being lifted onto the ancient city walls of Nanjing.

$950,000 Ferrari being lifted onto the ancient city walls of Nanjing.

Ferrari and tire tracks on Nanjing’s ancient walls.

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