When I was a kid I remember reading a Gold Key Star Trek comic, the story entitled "The Voodoo Planet." Kirk and his crew appeared on a depopulated planet marked by exact replicas of Earth landmarks. The title indicates that these landmarks were meant to link up to their Terran originals in some baleful way, but that part I don't really remember. As cheesy as the story might have been, the eerie desolation - and yet balance - of the pictures appealed to me.
And that story came back to me as I looked over this photoessay on the replica of Paris in Tianducheng, Paris. It's fascinating, and while town probably wasn't planned as some conceptual art commentary on the importance of context, it could have been. Because China isn't France, so a semi-abandoned Paris in the middle of it is almost bound to become its own thing. And if this Tiandu-Paris ever does pick up its own population, that will be another difference.