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China’s Lintong District is famed for its thousands of terracotta soldiers, found buried in the mausoleum of the country’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Some trusting tourists, however, have been visiting fake sculptures instead of the authentic, 3rd century BCE ones. The sham warriors are preserved in a museum complex, each replicated and installed to form a scam attraction.
Authorities raided the site, located in the same area as the genuine terracotta army museum, on Wednesday, as Xinhua reported. There, they destroyed the display, which featured more than 40 copies of the warriors standing in a 600-square-meter (~6,500-square-foot) area — an exhibition that was probably pretty disappointing for any visitor who’s seen pictures of the intimidating army of funerary sculptures. At that location, you’ll also find an impressive gathering of terracotta horses and chariots, all created to guard the emperor in his afterlife.
Lintong district officials had reportedly received an online complaint about the display, known as the “Suyuanqinhuangling resort.” The operation also involved unlicensed guides who gave visitors tours as well as illegal taxis that drove people to the attraction, which had been in operatin for an uncertain period of time. Authorities have since posted images of the smashed figures on Weibo to illustrate their crackdown on scams in the nation’s tourist industry. The reaction, though, highlights broader, pretty telling attitudes: counterfeiting in China can be a celebrated cultural practice, but really, you may only get away with it as long as you focus on ripping off Western works.
The former panels, removed in 2017, featured images dedicated to Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.
One researcher, Jürgen Schick, estimated that over half of the region’s historical artworks have been stolen.
The Morgan Library & Museum Presents Another Tradition: Drawings by Black Artists from the American South
This exhibition celebrates the Morgan’s recent acquisition of drawings by Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Henry Speller, Luster Willis, and Purvis Young.
The visual arts institution and educational center is located in the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.
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Part of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the Art Preserve also functions as a curated collection facility and is filled with immersive installations.