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Gangster's pavilion robbed

THE biggest gangster in old Shanghai might not be pleased if he knew that one of his properties was robbed 56 years after he died.

An almost forgotten pavilion in Xuhui district's Kangjian Park stands decaying among weeds.

Yet the pavilion was once the property of Huang Jinrong, one of the three crime kingpins in Shanghai's past, but four hitching posts in front of the pavilion were found missing before a renovation project was supposed to start recently, reported the Oriental Morning Post.

The district government is applying for cultural relic protection for the pavilion and asking citizens for information about the posts' whereabouts.

Not many people know the story behind the pavilion, which has become a shelter for homeless people, according to a frequent visitor surnamed Liu. In the chaotic decades of the 1920s and 1930s, the city's name was synonymous with excessive vice and crimes.

And colonialism and corruption spawned gangsters such as "Pockmarked Huang," who made millions out of prostitution and the opium trade. Huang was nominally the chief of detectives in the French concession.

The pavilion was built in 1932 and celebrities such Tse-ven Soong and Chiang Kai-shek visited. And it's believed they tied their horses to the four missing posts.

The district office of relic protection will reconsolidate the rackety pavilion.


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