Foreign dignitaries visited Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum in 2016
Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum is one of the first batches of major historical and cultural sites protected at the national level. In 1987, UNESCO added Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum (including the pits of Terra-Cotta Warriors) on the World Heritage List.
Built on the site of the funeral pits of Terra-Cotta Warriors, Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum was officially opened to the public in 1979. The main sites open to the public include Pits 1, 2, and 3, the Exhibition Hall of Bronze Chariots and Horses, and related temporary exhibitions. Till now, they have received nearly 70 million visitors both at home and abroad, including nearly 200 heads of state and heads of government. The Terra-Cotta Warriors were on display in more than 80 cities of more than 40 countries and regions, with the number of overseas visitors exceeding 20 million. Wherever there is an exhibition, the Terra-Cotta Warriors are great news. They have become envoys of friendship that enhance international political and cultural exchanges.
On January 6, a Canadian delegation of about ten people led by Senator George Furey visited Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum
Upon entering the hall of Pit 1, Senator Furey could not help but said, “I have seen those Terra-Cotta Warriors on TV and pictures many times before, but coming here to see them is really extraordinary. It is really amazing!” “These are really rich cultural relics. It is a paradise for archeologists!”
At the time of parting, the senator happily wrote on the guestbook, “Thank you very much for arranging us such a wonderful and unforgettable trip!”
On March 24, a delegation of 80 people led by President Joachim Gauck from German Federal Republic visited Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum
It was the first time that President Gauck had visited China, and Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum was the only museum that he visited during his trip to China.
During the visit, President Gauck carefully observed the Terra-Cotta Warriors in front of him in the VIP access of Pit 1 and asked a lot of questions: “Were they broken when unearthed?” “Are they holding weapons in their hands?” “Were they made in a whole or separately?” “Have you discovered any kiln sites where they were made?” Curator Hou Ningbin answered his questions one by one. When President Gauck asked whether the creators of those Terra-Cotta Warriors have been identified, Hou Ningbin explained in detail the names and origins of their works from the inscriptions on the Warriors and tastily gave some examples, “If this craftsman had been from Munich, Munich would have been inscribed on the Warriors.”
Prior to the end of the visit, he happily wrote on the guestbook, “The Chinese people created some very magnificent and unique historical and cultural heritage, for which we have great respect. We also extend our gratitude to those who strive to protect and restore the human wealth.”
On March 25, a Nepalese delegation of about 50 people led by Prime Minister Oli and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa visited Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum
Standing before Pit 1, Prime Minister Oli asked questions sequently in the face of the grand and magnificent Terra-Cotta Warriors: “When were those Terra-Cotta Warriors made?” “How many of them have been repaired and restored?” “Why is there a footboard underneath every Terra-Cotta Warrior, and were they added after they had been repaired and restored by your staff?” Curator Hou Ningbin answered his questions one by one. Walking near the third excavation site of Pit 1, when heard that those Terra-Cotta Warriors were painted with beautiful drawings and patterns upon excavation, Prime Minister Oli was very impressed and felt incredible. He exclaimed at the greatness of the protection over cultural heritage. He purposefully walked near the excavation area and leaned forward to observe the ongoing archeological project being done inside the pit. In front of the umbrella rod model of the Exhibition Hall of the Bronze Chariots and Horses, the guide showed how to operate the locking device on the seat of the umbrella. Prime Minister Oli carefully looked at it for a while and used his own hands to lock the bolt of the pedestal and tastily said, “Now, it’s locked!”
During the visit, the Prime Minister showed great interest in the Terra-Cotta Warriors dated more than 2,000 years ago. When listening to the instructions, he kept nodding his head and frequently exchanged and interacted with his accompanying personnel in his mother tongue. Prior to the end of the visit, Prime Minister Oli wrote on the guestbook, “I am very happy today to have this opportunity to visit Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum. On behalf of my delegation and in my own name, I would like to express our gratitude to China, Shaanxi Provincial Government and the people here for their contributions to the protection and restoration of this world heritage. This museum is indeed a world wonder. It is also mankind’s greatest pride. Thank you very much!”
On April 13, a Kazakh delegation of 7 people led by Mami Kairat, Chairman of the Supreme Court, visited Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum
During the visit, facing the battle formation of the Terra-Cotta Warriors, Mami expressed great interest, asking, “Were the bricks down inside the pit paved during the Qin Dynasty? Why don’t we see chariots in the pit? How do you protect colorfully painted Terra-Cotta Warriors? Can the texts on the weapons be translated into modern Chinese characters?” The accompanying personnel answered his questions one by one. Mr. Mami frequently stopped to observe every piece of the item on display carefully. He said to his accompanying personnel very excitedly, “Have you seen the skin creases on the ears of those warriors? They are exactly like those of living humans.” During the whole visit, he frequently exclaimed and exchanged his thoughts with his accompanying personnel.
Prior to the end of the visit, Chairman Mami wrote on the guestbook, “Chairman of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan led a delegation to visit the historical Terra-Cotta Warriors. The Chinese people created such a miracle at a very early time in history, which has left a very deep impression on us. We would like to appreciate the Curator of the Museum and the whole staff. ”
On April 20, a New Zealand delegation of 90 people led by Prime Minister John Key and his wife visited Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum
During the visit, Prime Minister John and his delegation visited Pit 1, 2, and 3 of the Terra-Cotta Warriors, as well as the Exhibition Hall of Bronze Chariots and Horses, so as to fully understand the museum and the Terra-Cotta Warriors pits. In front of the electronic sand table of Pit 1, when learning that Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum that covered an area of more than 50 square kilometers was built more than 2,000 years ago, John repeated his amazement at the information. As they entered the Exhibition Hall of Pit 1, facing the grand and magnificent battle formation of the warriors, Prime Minister John and his wife discussed enthusiastically and frequently asked questions: “Were they broken when they were unearthed?” “Have some of them been on display in other places after the completion of repair and restoration?” “Were they built after Emperor Qinshihuang had died?” “Will you mend it when each piece is being spliced?” Curator Hou Ningbin answered his questions one by one. When learning that the repair and restoration process was so complicated, the Prime Minister and his wife exclaimed repeatedly, “Oh my God! This is really hard to complete!” In front of Pit 1, to express their fondness for the Terra-Cotta Warriors, Prime Minister John and his family even took selfies with the warriors with great interest, refusing to leave for a very long time. When they walked toward the third excavation site of Pit 1, Prime Minister John carefully observed the relics being cleaned and enthusiastically interacted with the excavation staff, wishing them all the best to their work.
When visiting Pits 2 and 3 and the Exhibition Hall of Bronze Chariots and Horses, the Prime Minister carefully observed the items on display and also carefully listened to the instruction. He frequently asked questions and showed great interest.
Prior to the end of the visit, Hou Ningbin gave Prime Minister John an elegant antique catalogue of Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum. At the time of parting, he happily wrote on the guestbook, “This has been a very impressive visit. We really enjoyed our visit today.”
On August 20, Burmese Senior Minister Aung San Suu Kyi visited Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum
“Many years ago, I read stories about the Terra-Cotta Warriors,” said Aung San Suu Kyi. When seeing on the platform “the Army Reborn” consisting of thousands of Terra-Cotta Warriors, she couldn’t help but regard them with reverence. The Terra-Cotta Warriors that people see today are the ones after the painted coloring has fallen off. Aung San Suu Kyi carefully listened to the introduction about the technique that protects the color painting on the Terra-Cotta Warriors. She also frequently asked the guide some questions that she was interested in.
In the Exhibition Hall of Bronze Chariots and Horses, Aung San Suu Kyi saw the “deluxe transportation means” of Emperor Qinshihuang – a set of two large colorfully painted bronze chariots and horses.
When learning that those bronze chariots and horses were about half of the real human being, chariots, and horses, Aung San Suu Kyi asked in confuse, “Why do they look bigger than half in proportion?” The guide answered with a smile, “Perhaps, the ancient Qin people and horses were taller and stronger than those of nowadays.”
At the end of the visit, Aung San Suu Kyi wrote in the guestbook, “I am very glad to see the glamor of the Terra-Cotta Warriors that I had longed to see. They are so beautiful and awesome. I especially like those beautiful horses.”
Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province