Culture\Cultural Exchange

Liverpool cements cultural status with Terracotta Warriors

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-13 07:26

Liverpool cements cultural status with Terracotta Warriors

A warrior statue on display at the Shaanxi History Museum. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The British football city of Liverpool has set itself the goal of becoming a top cultural destination with the help of China's iconic Terracotta Warriors, in a move likely to boost visitor numbers to the city.

The iconic statues will be part of a spectacular exhibition to be held in Liverpool's World Museum in a collaboration between Britain's National Museums Liverpool, China's Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau and the Shaanxi History Museum.

The exhibition will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the fabled warriors in Liverpool, NML Director David Fleming says.

"As home to one of the oldest Chinese communities in Europe, Liverpool is absolutely the right place for this exhibition," Fleming says.

"We are hugely excited to be working with our museum colleagues in China to bring a collection of the warriors and many other significant historical discoveries to the UK."

More than 180 spectacular artifacts from museums across Shaanxi province will be showcased at the World Museum, and over half the exhibits have never been displayed in the United Kingdom before.

The landmark exhibition tells the story of the formative years of the Chinese nation, from the Qin kings who ruled before the unification of the warring states into modern China in the 3rd century BC, to China's first emperor Qin Shi Huang's rise to power and the legacy of his achievements in the succeeding Han Dynasty (206 BC-220).

The exhibits will also include a life-size terracotta horse and objects from the emperor's vast burial complex, which are a testimony to ancient Chinese lifestyle and the economic prosperity of the empire.

Tickets for the exhibition went on sale on Thursday. The museum is expecting sellout crowds at the event, which run from Feb 9 to Oct 28, 2018.

Describing the Terracotta Warriors as one of the wonders of ancient China, British Culture Secretary Karen Bradley says bringing a selection of the figures to Liverpool is a fantastic achievement that will benefit the entire country.

"This incredible exhibition will undoubtedly boost tourism to the city and attract visitors from across the UK and Europe to see China's greatest national treasure," she adds.

James Lin, an expert on early Chinese material culture from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, who is also guest curator for the exhibition, says the exhibition on China's first emperor and the Terracotta Warriors promises to be extraordinary.

The Terracotta Warriors are full-size statues that are part of a baked-earth army sculpted by artisans over decades so that they could be buried with the first emperor of China and serve him in his afterlife.

The mausoleum site in Xi'an, a city in northwestern China where the statues were excavated, along with clay chariots and horses, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is now part of the Shaanxi History Museum.

The exhibition in Liverpool is the highlight of celebrations taking place across the city next year to mark the 10th anniversary of it being selected as European Capital of Culture for 2008.

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