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January 25, 2011

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Tomb in factory may lead to court battle

A FACTORY boss may turn to the courts for help in a dispute over a tomb that appeared inside his premises.

The construction material company owner, whose surname is Sheng, says he has tried to reach agreement with the family who built the monument at his premises in Jinze Town, Qingpu District.

But as discussions got nowhere, Sheng now says he could go to court to have the structure removed.

The dispute goes back to last April, when Sheng discovered someone building a tomb inside his factory grounds next to the building.

Sheng stopped the construction at once. "But to my surprise, the next morning, the tomb had been completed," said Sheng. "They must have sneaked in during the night and finished the work."

The tomb, occupying about 1.5 square meters, includes a gravestone and two vaults, one for the deceased's ashes and another for his wife, who is still living. A pair of stone lions flank the structure.

When Sheng asked the deceased's family why they hadn't chosen another location, they replied that all they were doing was conducting renovations.

Jinze Town Community Center officials discovered that the grave belonged to an employee killed in an accident at the building when it was previously a grain center.

"As his family could not afford a grave at local cemeteries, they buried his ashes at the center," said Wang Zili, director of the center.

"Last year, when they gained some money, they decided to build a tomb for the deceased," he said.

Wang said as Chinese people believe it's unlucky to move relatives' graves, the family were unwilling to consider a new location.

The Qingpu District Funeral Management Office suggested Sheng launch a lawsuit.

The family involved were not available for comment.


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