I vividly remember my first trip to Xi’an to view the Terracotta Warriors a few years ago. We took a public bus from Xi’an about an hour away to the site and I remember seeing dozens of factories lining the highway that showed off their wares: phony but authentic looking Terracotta warriors! This got me thinking, “if they can make fake ones look so authentic, would it be such a stretch to think that the whole Terracotta Warriors site is a big fake?” My thinking is that prior to this amazing discovery, nobody outside of China had ever heard of the city Xi’an but now not only is it world famous, the region reaps in billions of dollars every year showing off their prized clay army. I discussed it with my travel buddies at the time who dismissed the idea outright as pure nonsense. Remember my visit was well before the well documented piracy and fake products that pepper news headlines coming out of China today.
Then I came across this story today that some phony Terracotta Warriors may have been sent to Germany. I wonder if they were produced by those same factories lining the highway to the famed site. We may never know the real truth.