Terracotta Warriors: envoys of emperor's ghostly army march into Melbourne

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The awe-inspiring soldiers from China’s past are sharing the limelight with a modern artist’s soaring take on immortality

Sprawled out in front of me in a dusty hangar in Xi’an were rows and rows of soldiers: an army fit to protect the dead.

I first saw the Terracotta Warriors in 2010, when working as a journalist in China. The experience was overwhelming. Yet unlike the Great Wall – another legacy of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, which sends shivers down my spine to this day – the site itself was a letdown. Jostling with the crowds, I felt a stab of guilt: I knew I should be enjoying the experience more than I did.

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