Terracotta Army exhibition in Germany a fake, Chinese experts say
Life-size Terracotta Army figures on display at a German museum are most probably fakes, Chinese officials said.
10 December 2007
Beijing (dpa) - Life-size Terracotta Army figures on display at a German museum are most probably fakes, Chinese officials said on Monday.
Officials in Beijing and the city of Xian denied having given permission for the 2,200-year-old clay soldiers to be sent to Germany for an exhibition at the Museum of Ethnology in the port city of Hamburg.
The Beijing office that administers Chinese cultural treasures said it appeared the soldiers on display in Germany were illegal copies.
There appears to be a problem with intellectual property rights," a spokesman said.
The terracotta warriors who guard the grave of the Emperor Qin (259-210 BC) were discovered in 1974 near Xi'an, Shaanxi province.
"We do not have an exhibition of terracotta soldiers in Germany," an official at the provincial cultural affairs office in Xian said.
He said the only exhibition in Europe at present was the one at the British Museum in London.
"If there was an exhibition in Germany then we would have known about it because it would have required permission from us," he added.
Rumours that the eight figures exhibited in Hamburg might not be genuine first surfaced in Germany last week.
The Hamburg museum said it had demanded an explanation from the German-based Leipzig Centre of Chinese Arts and Culture, which organized the display.
Copies of the genuine Terracotta warriors are readily available in China. One factory in Xian offers life-size imitations for 1,500 yuan (220 dollars).
The cultural office in Xian said overseas institutes that want to display terracotta soldiers have to present a plan in advance. The display in Hamburg definitely did not have official approval, the office said.
Subject: German news