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Report 9 - January 16, 2000

Here we are with some images of old Kunming, part of a collection of photographs taken around the year 1900 by the French Consul of the time, Auguste Francois, and shown in an exhibition last fall. As it is obvious, the place has changed a good deal, and one cannot help wondering how it would be to take a walk in the ancient city...

Above, left: One of the city's main streets, recognizable as such by the stone covering. The inhabitants of Kunming were very fond of dogs (actually, they still are): it seems that around the year 1900 there were about 50.000 dogs in town.
Above, right: the Jinmabiji Arch. All the people in the street were compelled, by means of bamboo poles, to look in the direction of the photographer.
Nowadays Kunming keeps developing fast, as stated from a foreigner we heard complaining about the changes she found after a few months' absence; the few remaining old (and unhealthy, we have to admit) dwellings are bound to be replaced by huge skyscrapers, built fast and carelessly. A couple of temples outside town are the only places that still retain a bit of charming atmosphere, let's hope they won't build them anew.
On the right, East and West Temple Pagodas: they are now surrounded by modern skyscrapers and trafficated roads.

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