Friendship brings ancient Chinese history to Troy
TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - China is roughly 10,000 miles away from Troy, Alabama. But when it comes to some ancient Chinese history, they’re closer than you may think.
“We are a long ways away, but in so many other ways we are close,” said Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins.
It all started when Troy started a dual degree program in China. Hawkins made a lot of trips back and forth, he also made some friends.
“One of the most notable I think occurred more than 20 years ago with an artist named in Xi’an, China, named Huo Bao Zhu. And Huo Bao Zhu has been to Troy many times and has donated many pieces of beautiful artwork,” Hawkins said
In 2014, Troy University awarded Huo Bao Zhu an honorary doctorate degree.
He was so touched he donated 200 replicas of the Terracotta Warriors. The originals were made more than 2,000 years ago at the request of China’s first emperor.
“He wanted to live forever and in his afterlife, he wanted to be protected. So, he created in Xi’an a burial site about the size of Manhattan, and he had thousands of peasants to make thousands of these clay warriors. And, they were positioned in battlefield positions to protect him forever,” Hawkins said.
You can get the history of the Terracotta Warriors inside the International Arts Center, then you can go outside to see the replicas; 200 Terracotta Warriors. This used to be a ravine covered in kudzu, it’s now a cultural arts park.
“It’s a treasure for this state and I think, for this country.”
What started out as a friendship has turned into something the whole state can benefit from.
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