Terracotta Army Facts

World Leaders & Celebrities Who Have Visited the Terracotta Army

About 200 world leaders and many celebrities have visited the Terracotta Army since its discovery in 1974, and they have left many profound messages inside the museum to show their appreciation after viewing the impressive army. 

Lee Kuan Yew, Former Prime Minister of Singapore 

On May 14, 1976, two years after the discovery of Terracotta Army, it accepted its first distinguished guest, the former prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew. He viewed the excavation site for forty minutes on this occassion. “This is one of the wonders of the world and it’s also the pride of the Chinese nation!” he said. Lee Kuan Yew went to the terracotta army again in 1985 and wrote an inscription of “the great cultural relic representing the great future of China”. 

Jacques Chirac, Former French President

In September of 1978, former French president Jacques Chirac visited the construction and said “on top of the seven wonders of the world, the terracotta army should be deemed to be the eighth; the pyramids and the terracotta army are two must-see places to justify a visit to Egypt and China”. Hence, the terracotta army got the reputation of the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. Chirac viewed the terracotta army once again in November of 1991. 

Henry Kissinger, Former U.S. Secretary of State

The terracotta army received the former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger three times from 1979 to 1987. As the only celebrity to visit the site five times, he returned again in 2008 and 2013. Before leaving the Pit 1 during the last visit, he turned and looked at the terra-cotta warriors meaningfully and left a message, saying that the terracotta army is a perfect demonstration of China’s bright future. 

Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

The terracotta army attracted Queen Margrethe II of Denmark to visit in 1979. She was the first foreign guest to jump into the 1.5-meter-deep (59-inch-deep) pits to see those terracotta warriors. The queen carefully observed the pottery horses as well and the bronze chariots and horses exhibited in the Exhibition Hall, for they amazed her with the exquisite craft and luxuriant decorations.

Ronald Reagan, Former U.S. President

This underground site museum had former president of the United States Ronald Wilson Reagan as its visitor on April 29, 1984. Facing the life-like terracotta horses, he asked the entourage jokingly whether or not the horse would kick him.  

Bill Clinton, Former U.S. President

Another former US president, Bill Clinton, thought the unearthed pottery warriors and horses were amazing and wished to be the curator of the Qinshihuang's mausoleum museum when he paid a visit to the terra-cotta warriors with his wife Hilary Clinton on June 26, 1998.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

Russian president Vladimir Putin toured the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum on October 16, 2004. He was surprised by the well-preserved terracotta warriors and nice museum architecture. 

Ban Ki-moon, the Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations

On July 25, 2009, the Eighth United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, visited the terracotta army. He was shocked by the richness of Chinese culture and the superb sculpture and bronze smelting technology of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC – 207 BC).  As well he wrote a message in Chinese to indicate the uniqueness and preciousness of the underground museum. 

Nicolas Sarkozy, Former French President

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy visited the terracotta army on 25th November, 2007, and highly praised the greatness of these cultural relics. In April 2010, the president re-visited the terra-cotta warriors with his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany

On July 16, 2010, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel viewed the pottery warriors and horses. As a female chancellor, she was interested in the clothing of the warriors. In addition, the hairstyle and headgear drew her attention. 
 See What Are the Terracotta Warriors Wearing?

Other World Leaders and Celebrities Who Have Visited the Terracotta Army

Name Title Time
Kim Jong II Former Leader of North Korea September 23, 1982
Francois Mitterrand Former French President May 6, 1983
Queen Elizabeth II Queen of the United Kingdom October 16, 1986
George Bush Former U.S. President January 17, 1994
Kofi Annan The Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations May 9, 1997
Juan Antonio Samaranch Former I.O.C. President September 10, 2008
LeBron James Basketball Star August 16, 2011
Kobe Bryant Basketball Star August 5, 2013
Dimitry Rogozin Russian Deputy Prime Minister October 18, 2013
Viktor Yanukovych Former President of Ukraine December 4, 2013
Arnold Schwarzenegger American Actor/ Former Governor of California December 4, 2013
Michelle Obama Wife of the first African-American U.S. President Barack Obama March 24, 2014
Mohammad Hamid Ansari Former Indian Vice President June 27, 2014
Jimmy Carter Former U.S. President 1981/September 6, 2014
Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India May 14, 2015
Lee Myung-bak Former South Korean President July 7, 2015
Joachim Gauck Former German President March 24, 2016
John Key Former New Zealand Prime Minister April 20, 2016

Further Reading:
 Overseas Exhibitions of Terracotta Army
- Last updated on Jul. 16, 2019 -
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