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French President Macron visited Mausoleum Museum of First Emperor of Qin Dynasty

On January 8, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, together with more than 90 members of the French delegation, visited Mausoleum Museum of First Emperor of Qin Dynasty, accompanied by Chen Zhu, Vice Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, Zhai Jun, resident ambassador to France and Hu Heping, Secretary of Shaanxi Provincial Party Committee, etc. Before the visit, Hu Heping had a courtesy meeting with President Macron in the VIP reception room of the Museum, and Hou Ningbin, Curator of Mausoleum Museum of First Emperor of Qin Dynasty, and other people concerned, attended the meeting and accompanied them in the tour.

After the meeting, Hou Ningbin first briefed to President Macron the layout of the Mausoleum of First Emperor of Qin Dynasty and the overall condition of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Pit in front of the electronic sand table at No. 1 Pit and made an exchange about the relevant historical background. Afterwards, President Macron walked with his wife to the foreground of No.1 Pit quickly and stopped to enjoy the magnificent Terracotta Warriors. Macron asked: "More than two thousand years ago, did the First Emperor of Qin unify the country with such an army?" Hou Ningbin replied: "Yes, this was a mighty army. The military promotion system executed by Kingdom Qin stimulated the people of Qin to kill the enemy courageously on the battlefield and they got promotion by virtue of their battle achievements. It is just such a reward mechanism that pushed Kingdom Qin to become powerful gradually, thus, they defeated the other kingdoms and established Qin Empire." After hearing that, Macron uttered his sincere praise and repeatedly asked: "Were they all buried in it? Why are they all broken?" "Did they hold weapons in hand?" Hou Ningbin answered all his questions one by one.

In No. 1 Pit repairing area, Hou Ningbin pointed to a piece of pottery figurine lying flat on the ground and said: "Many figurines are engraved with words on their bodies. For example, on this piece is engraved two characters “Gong De”. This is the system of responsibility more than 2,000 years ago. Here, ‘Gong’ recorded the origin of the figurine maker, indicating that the craftsman came from the clay making workshop of the royal court; the 'De' was his name." President Macron asked in surprise: "Where is it carved?" While using a laser pointer to guide the President to observe the words carved at the bottom of the coat armor, Hou Ningbin replied in a funny tone: "Here! If the craftsman came from Paris of France at that time, he would have engraved 'Ba' here! ” After hearing that, the President said with a smile: "This is too interesting!"

In front of the display stand for the restored excellent cultural relics in the repairing area, while carefully observing the painted pottery figurines before him, President Macron inquired with great interest: "Is this the original painted color? Why has the color become dull? Has it been oxidized?” Hou Ningbin answered with a smile, and discussed the colored drawing protection technology with the president. When he learned that this green pottery figurine was actually made by using 3D printing technology, the president said with amazement: "It has truly and clearly restored the true nature of the relics two thousand years ago!" Hou Ningbin said: "This is a good example of combining modern science and technology with cultural relics effectively and applying them for protection and restoration!"

During the 60-minute visit, President Macron always kept a great interest, often stopped to enjoy and talked with his wife as he could hardly conceal his admiration for the Terracotta Army of Qin Dynasty. Before the end of his visit, he wrote gladly in the guestbook: "Thank you for receiving us in this magnificent historic site and this underground army really deserves being regarded as the eighth great wonder of the world. It has told us the great undertaking of the First Emperor of Qin Dynasty in his first unification of China in Xi'an. May the silent power of these mysterious soldiers give us a common enlightenment in our future! Please accept my friendly regards."

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