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China's 'Nail Grave' Relocated

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In Taiyuan, in northern China's Shanxi province, construction began on a new high-end residential compound last year. When developers needed to excavate a cemetery for the building's foundation, they offered to pay villagers to relocate the remains of loved ones. One family refused to budge, complaining that the compensation was too low. In China, such disputed plots are typically known as "nail houses," and developers continue to build around them while the issue is resolved. In this case, workers carved out a "nail grave" belonging to the family of Chang Jinzhu. The small, bizarre column stood 10 meters above the foundation floor for months. This week, it was reported that Jinzhu's family had reached an agreement with the construction consortium, receiving 800 Yuan ($128 USD) in compensation. A platform and bridge to the gravesite were built, and the family had the four coffins and gravestones removed. [11 photos]

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A 10-meter-high tomb stands in a construction site, waiting to be relocated, in Taiyuan, north China's Shanxi province, after the owner of this "nail grave" reached an agreement with the construction consortium and would receive 800 yuan ($128 USD) in compensation, on December 13, 2012. Government-backed land grabs have become a volatile problem as officials and developers seek to cash in on the nation's property boom, sometimes forcing people out of their homes without proper compensation. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A 10-meter-high tomb stands in a construction site, waiting to be relocated, in Taiyuan, north China's Shanxi province, after the owner of this "nail grave" reached an agreement with the construction consortium and would receive 800 yuan ($128 USD) in compensation, on December 13, 2012. Government-backed land grabs have become a volatile problem as officials and developers seek to cash in on the nation's property boom, sometimes forcing people out of their homes without proper compensation. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Construction workers building around a grave mound 10 meters high, at a construction site in a village in Taiyuan, China, on December 6, 2012. The owner of the grave and the construction consortium are arguing over compensation to be paid. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #
Construction takes place around a grave mound 10 meters high, at a residential construction site in Taiyuan, China, on December 6, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #
Looking up at the "nail grave" from the bottom of a construction pit, a new residential structure rising up nearby, in Taiyuan, China, on December 6, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #
An isolated family gravesite measuring 10 square meters, in the construction site of a building in Taiyuan, China, on December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Workers erect scaffolding as they prepare to relocate an ancestral tomb in Taiyuan, on December 12, 2012. According to local reports, village officers have reached an agreement with the family of the deceased to move the grave without raising compensation. The family was contacting a feng shui master for an auspicious day for the move. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A newly-erected bridge and platform surround Taiyuan's "nail grave", awaiting grave relocators, on December 13, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #
Villagers stand around an ancestral tomb which is being relocated from a construction site of a residential compound in Taiyuan, on December 18, 2012. The tomb had been left in the middle of the construction site for about 7 months after the building project started. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A worker watches as an ancestral tomb is moved from a construction site of a residential compound in Taiyuan, on December 18, 2012. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Villagers carry coffins containing remains of deceased from an ancestral tomb away from a construction site in Taiyuan, on December 18, 2012. The family owners of the tomb, with the help of some villagers, relocated four coffins containing the remains of the deceased on Tuesday morning. According to local reports, the family did not fulfil their agreement with village officers which requires them to move the tomb before December 15. The family said they were waiting for an auspicious date for relocation. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Villagers carry a gravestone of an ancestral tomb away from a construction site in Taiyuan, on December 18, 2012. According to local reports, the family failed to meet their agreement with village officers which required them to move the tomb before December 15. The family said they had been waiting for an auspicious date for relocation. (Reuters/Stringer) #

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