The illegal rooftop villa in Beijing that attracted global mockery now lies in rubble - but it will still take months to clear away the construction waste.
Fifty workers have been working on the roof of the 26-storey building to demolish the main structure of the villa, according to the Beijing Youth Daily.
The demolition work is progressing slowly because builders are concerned that the strong wind on the top of the building might blow waste away. They are allowed to move the waste only after 10:30pm when the lift is not busy, the newspaper said.
Zhang Biqing, owner of the villa and a wealthy acupuncturist, was given 15 days to demolish the 800 square metre illegal structure that involves a villa in a fake mountain. Zhang told the media he spent 800,000 yuan on the building six years ago.
Video: Beijing's illegal rooftop mansion seen from above
The Haidian district law enforcement squad of urban management bureau told the newspaper that the owner had been cooperative and half of the construction waste had gone since the squad’s last visit. But the waste will not be completely removed until after the Chinese New Year holidays, which end in early February, because workers would be off during that period.
The bureau will then compare the site with the original plan to see if the demolition work has restored the building to its original form, according to the newspaper.
Zhang had told the Beijing Youth Daily that he felt “pain in the heart” that his creative work was gone and said he dreaded going back to Beijing to see the building.
“I am not afraid of people talking about me any more. I felt painful for my works. It is such a beautiful thing and I have devoted so much to designing and building it. Now I do not even dare to ask the progress of the demolition,” Zhang was quoted as saying.
“I checked online to see how my house was from time to time. I wanted to and was afraid to see the news and picture of complete demolition,” Zhang added.