Ter­ra­cotta dis­pute

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By XIN­HUA

A Chi­nese ar­chae­ol­o­gist has re­futed a BBC re­port about the Ter­ra­cotta War­riors, say­ing that the ar­ti­cle quoted her out of con­text.

A Chi­nese ar­chae­ol­o­gist re­cently re­futed a BBC re­port about North­west China’s Ter­ra­cotta War­riors, say­ing that the ar­ti­cle has quoted her out of con­text and over­stated her re­marks about West­ern in­flu­ence on the 8,000 life­size fig­ures.

The BBC re­port, re­leased on Oct 12, said ar­chae­ol­o­gists have found that in­spi­ra­tion for the Ter­ra­cotta War­riors at the tomb of the first em­peror near Xi’an, Shaanxi prov­ince, may have come from An­cient Greece.

The ar­ti­cle quoted Li Xi­uzhen, a se­nior ar­chae­ol­o­gist at the Em­peror Qin­shi­huang’s Mau­soleum Site Mu­seum, as say­ing, “We now think the Ter­ra­cotta Army, the ac­ro­bats and the bronze sculp­tures found on site, were in­spired by an­cient Greek sculp­tures and art.”

How­ever, Li said that the BBC quoted her out of con­text, as the ar­ti­cle ig­nored much of what she told BBC re­porters.

“I think the Ter­ra­cotta War­riors may be in­spired by West­ern cul­ture, but were uniquely made by the Chi­nese. BBC over­stated my re­marks about West­ern in­spi­ra­tion and ig­nored the main points I made dur­ing the in­ter­view,” Li said.

Li said the lo­cal na­ture and cul­tural en­vi­ron­ment, such as soil, crafts­men and tra­di­tional funeral cul­ture, all contributed to the cre­ation of the Ter­ra­cotta War­riors.

She also pointed out that the ar­ti­cle put her quotes right be­fore those of Pro­fes­sor Lukas Nickel from the Univer­sity of Vi­enna, whose opin­ion is con­trary to her own, but makes it seem as if they share the same idea.

Ac­cord­ing to the ar­ti­cle, Pro­fes­sor Nickel said, “I imag­ine that a Greek sculp­tor may have been at the site to train the lo­cals.”

“I am an ar­chae­ol­o­gist and I value ev­i­dence. I’ve found no Greek names on the backs of Ter­ra­cotta War­riors, which sup­ports my idea that there was no Greek artisan train­ing the lo­cal sculp­tors,” Li said.

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