Terracotta Warrior statues link Brookline and China


Sascha Wolf-Sorokin

The two Terracotta Warrior statues in the atrium were purchased by former headmaster Dr. Bob Weintraub and science teacher Steve Lantos during a China Exchange trip. They represent the friendship between the high school and its sister school, the Gao Xin School.

Maddie Kennedy, Staff Writer

“Wouldn’t it be the coolest to buy two of these life size ones?” former headmaster Dr. Bob Weintraub asked.

When you enter the atrium, you are immediately greeted by two Terracotta Warrior statues towering high on pedestals. These statues were purchased at The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor in Xi’An, China by Weintraub and science teacher Steve Lantos during a China Exchange visit. They are a symbol for global learning and the cemented friendship with the high school’s sister school, Gao Xin School in Xi’An, China.

According to Lantos, the warriors were purchased in the gift shop after a tour of the site of the Terracotta Warriors.

“When you are finished touring the different archaeological sites, like everywhere in the U.S. and China, you come out to the gift shop. In the gift shop are hundreds of these soldiers in reproductions. Dr. Weintraub…envisioned them sitting right where they are now,” Lantos said.

According to Lantos, the Terracotta Warriors are an iconic symbol connected to China, and Xi’an in particular.

“The Terracotta Warriors are, I would say, the symbol of Xi’an. The story goes that they were discovered in 1974 by a farmer who dug a well for water on his farm field and lowered a pail or bucket into the well and up came several shards of these historic artifacts, so the digging began,” Lantos said. “They’re still unearthing thousands of these life-size warriors. Every single one is different, and these emperors buried these soldiers as protectors in the afterlife.”

Weintraub thought they would make a good fit for the high school not only because of the warrior mascot, but also because of the long-standing exchange program with Gao Xin School.

The BHS mascot is the warrior. Our school has a close relationship with the Gao Xin School in Xi’An, and Xi’An is famous for the Terracotta Warriors, so I just thought that having two warriors in the atrium is symbolic of our relationship with Xi’An,” Weintraub explained. “We also have a large Chinese and Chinese-American student population at BHS and I felt that the warriors honored their history and culture.”

Senior Rachel Percy participated in the China Exchange program two years ago and said that the warriors are a really nice symbol.

I like that they are in front of the school because we’re welcoming people from other cultures and they welcomed us {when we went there},” Percy said.

Gao Xin School China Exchange student sophomore Karen Zhang shares the belief that the statues are a symbol of welcome and friendship.

The exchange opportunity is a precious one for all of us, and knowing all the difficulties in creating and maintaining this program, we admire the determination and dedication of both schools and appreciate their continuous efforts since 1999,” Zhang said. “We truly feel at home every time we see the Warriors.”