Terracotta Warriors exhibition opens to acclaim in Liverpool

China Plus Published: 2018-02-09 08:54:22
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An exhibition featuring Chinese Terracotta Warriors opened in Liverpool this week, with an estimated 450,000 visitors expected to view the show over the next eight months.

The “China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors” exhibition is opened at Liverpool World Museum this week. [Photo: China Plus]

The “China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors” exhibition is opened at Liverpool World Museum this week. [Photo: China Plus]

The exhibition, titled "China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors" has been hailed by local Liverpudlians as "breathtaking" and "unmissable." It's part of the celebrations marking 10 years since Liverpool was named the European Capital of Culture.

Hosted by Liverpool World Museum, the exhibition showcases more than 180 artefacts, spanning almost 1,000 years of Chinese history. The stars of the show are ten life-size Terracotta Warriors including a terracotta cavalry horse. The museum said a record number of 120,000 tickets have already been sold in its early bookings. Virginia Tandy was one of the visitors to attend the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

"I think it's a once in the lifetime opportunity for people to see these magnificent works and really think about the scale of the ambition that the Emperor had when he planned and commissioned these amazing terracotta warriors. They speak to us from such a long way back in history. It's wonderful that they are building a bridge between the UK and China by being here and help us understanding more about Chinese culture," said Tandy. 

With the support of partner organizations in Shannxi Province, where the Terracotta Warriors were unearthed, the exhibition took more than three years of planning. Flendon Robinson was involved in putting up the exhibition.

"To see it finally happen I'm very very excited. While I live in London I will definitely bring my family here to see the exhibition and also I want to go back to China again. I was very lucky since I have been to China three years ago on a business trip but I'd like to go back and take my friends and family as well," said Robinson. 

The Terracotta Warriors had been buried for 2,000 years, assembled to guard the tomb of the Qin dynasty's first emperor, Qin Shihuang, who unified China for the first time in history.

Each stone soldier in the Terracotta Army is carved with distinctive features.

The Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974, near the capital of China's Shaanxi Province, Xi'an.

It has been eleven years since the last time the Chinese Terracotta Warriors were brought to the UK for display. The British Museum's terracotta exhibition in 2007 attracted 850,000 visitors.

Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the UK said that the Liverpool exhibition is "well-timed and significant" not only in bridging China-UK cultural links but also that it opens a window on the Belt and Road Initiative.

"The Terracotta Warriors were unearthed in Xi'an, the current name for Chang'an, which was the eastern starting point of the ancient Silk Road. The relics from the past remind us of the glory of the ancient Silk Road. Their display here in Liverpool, thousands of miles away from home, is a fresh testament to the vitality of the new Silk Road," said Liu. 

The exhibition runs until October and will be accompanied by a series of special programmes celebrating Chinese culture.

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