German Terracotta Army exhibit is closed over fakes

12th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

12th December 2007, The Museum of Ethnology in the port city of Hamburg, which has been embarrassed by worldwide attention, put up a sign Wednesday that the figures were copies.

12th December 2007

The Museum of Ethnology in the port city of Hamburg, which has been embarrassed by worldwide attention, put up a sign Wednesday that the figures were copies.

The German-based company that supplied the figures had admitted they were not originals, although the contract it concluded with the museum stipulated they were original, a statement by the museum said.

Yolna Grimm of Centre of Chinese Arts and Culture (CCAC) claimed the Leipzig, Germany firm had never said the figures were original but that they were "authentic."

He said the contract with the museum promised "authentic ceramic figures made of original material."

The latter word meant Xi'an clay, he said. "To us, authentic means they are ceramic, life-sized and comparable with the originals," added Grimm.

The museum said the CCAC had violated its legal obligations and the contract with the company had been cancelled. The museum said its lawyers were studying possible legal action against the firm.

The exhibition would be closed, the statement added.

The Chinese custodians of the originals, a tourist attraction in Xi'an, had said Monday that they had no knowledge of any loan of clay soldiers to Germany. Replicas in various sizes are sold in Xi'an as souvenirs.

The terracotta warriors, who guard the grave of the Emperor Qin (259-210 BC), were discovered in 1974.

An official at the provincial cultural affairs office in Xi'an said the only Army exhibition in Europe at present was one at the British Museum in London.

DPA

Subject: German news

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