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Terracotta Warriors exhibit to open in US

中国日报网 2013-02-22 10:17

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Ten life-sized Terracotta Warriors from China will be a central part of an exhibition in San Francisco that opens on Friday.

The exhibition, China's Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor's Legacy, commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Asian Art Museum. It is the first exhibit held in the US that focuses on the historical relics of China's Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

In a bid to achieve immortality, China's first emperor Qinshihuang built himself a tomb - a vast underground city guarded by a life-sized terracotta army including warriors, infantrymen, horses, chariots and all their attendant armor and weaponry, said He Li, curator of the exhibition.

The underground burial complex was first unearthed in 1974 in Shaanxi province, and is considered an astonishing discovery on a par with ancient Egypt's elaborate tombs.

He said 123 exhibits from Qinshihuang's tomb and tombs of the early Qin Dynasty sent by 13 museums in Shaanxi will be on display. The exhibition will feature 10 figures - a representative sample of the actual army, which is estimated to include more than 7,000 life-sized figures and more than 10,000 weapons.

Visitors will be able to take a close look at the first emperor's other relics, such as the bronze swords inlaid with gold and turquoise, and horses and chariots, said Jay Xu, the executive director of the Asian Art Museum.

Chang Lei, a historical relic protectionist of Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum of Shaanxi province, said this exhibit is distinctive, as they have brought to the US the terracotta warriors with the most dramatic look, the earliest discovered cavalry figurine and the rare kneeling terracotta warrior, with his face painted green.

The chariot and horse terracotta displayed in the hall of the museum are also unusual.

"Usually we only showcase one of them. This time, we are displaying both," Chang said.

To prevent the exhibits from being damaged in earthquakes, which can occur in San Francisco, the Asian Art Museum has made every exhibit shockproof. They have also used 3-D image technology and drawings to reproduce the images of the weapons, horses and other items from the Qin Dynasty to help visitors better understand the ancient culture of the period.

A "Lost Warrior" campaign was launched two weeks ago to promote the exhibition. The museum asked a local actor to dress like a terracotta warrior and appear in at least 50 places across the city. The city's residents were invited to track his whereabouts and put his photo on social media to win free passes to the exhibition.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.

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