BEIJING – Authorities in Xi’an have destroyed a museum with 40 fake Terracotta Warriors located in the outskirts of that central Chinese city, an attraction that tricked numerous tourists and prompted some complaints, a state-run newspaper reported Friday.
Armed with clubs, the officials from the Shaanxi provincial capital’s bureaus of tourism, trade and public security smashed the statues at the private tourist attraction known as the “Suyuan Qin Terracotta Army,” the China Daily reported.
The raid took place Thursday after a tourist from a neighboring Chinese province wrote on social media that three individuals posing as a police officer, driver and tour guide persuaded him to visit a fake Terracotta Warriors museum.
The authentic Qin Shi Huang Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, located near the fraudulent one, is home to thousands of statues that symbolically protect the mausoleum of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, who ruled from 221-210 BC.
Those original statues, discovered by a farmer in 1974, are regarded as one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century and are a major tourist attraction in China, drawing 120 million visitors in 2016.