China police destroy 'fake' terracotta warriors

Police dismantling the fake statues Image copyright Meili Lintong
Image caption A task force including police, tourist and traffic officials was set up in response to the discovery

Police in central China have raided a tourist attraction which they say was tricking people into visiting a fake terracotta army.

The site is in the Lintong district of Xi'an, the same area as the real Terracotta Army, which guards Emperor Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum. Forty statues were destroyed in the operation after an online complaint prompted local officials to take action, the official Xinhua news agency reports.

Lintong council's Weibo account shared photos of the raid, including an image of the statues' remnants after they were smashed to pieces. A local official told Xinhua that unlicensed guides and illegal taxis were used to draw tourists to the site.

Anyone visiting the site might have been slightly underwhelmed at seeing a few dozen warriors. The real Terracotta Army is more than 2,000 years old and contains thousands of statues - mainly soldiers but also horses and chariots - which were made to protect the emperor in the afterlife.

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