— Claire Matz (@clairematz) January 25, 2016
Several weeks ago, reports surfaced that authorities in the Chiayi county of Taiwan had built a church in the shape of an enormous, high-heeled shoe in order to attract female worshipers. But Chiayi officials have told the Associated Press that while the glass “shoe” will function as a wedding venue, it is not a church. Instead, the structure is meant to honor women who were afflicted with a gangrenous condition known as “black foot disease” after drinking arsenic-laced well water. Because their feet often had to be amputated, these women faced life-long stigma and were unlikely to marry and start families. Also, they couldn’t wear stilettoes. “Basically, [the monument] is built not only to remind us of the time when people suffered from the disease, but also to represent our hope that women can now realize their dreams of walking toward their blissful future in their high-heels,” said Helen Chang, the county government head. Glad we’ve cleared that up, though the reality of a gangrene-inspired wedding hall does seem almost as strange as the original story.
Read the full story at The Associated Press.