The wait is almost over as Liverpool prepares for the landmark exhibition which spans almost 1,000 years of Chinese history to open its doors to the public.
Opening at the city’s World Museum on Friday, China’s First Emperor & the Terracotta Warriors has been described as a “tremendous coup”, not just for Liverpool, but for the whole of the UK.
Visitors will come face to face with the extraordinary Terracotta Warriors, including a life-size terracotta horse, as well as other exquisite objects from China’s First Emperor’s vast burial complex.
The exhibition opens on 9th February and runs until 28th October 2018, and coincides with an eight month-long China Dream season in the city, exploring the relationship between China and the UK.
It tells the story of the formative years of the Chinese nation, including the First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang’s rise to power and the legacy of his achievements in the succeeding Han Dynasty.
Objects will explore ancient Chinese lifestyle, the economic prosperity of the empire and beautifully crafted artefacts from royal burials.
The exhibition, designed by National Museums Liverpool working with teams in China, will also feature immersive technology to create a unique interpretation of the historic collection.
Pictured: Conservators from National Museums Liverpool and the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau check the condition of a more than 2,000 year old terracotta cavalry horse in China, prior to making the 5,000 mile journey to Liverpool for China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at World Museum. (Photo credit: Mr. Ziyu Qiu).
David Fleming, director of National Museums Liverpool, said: “World Museum is one of the jewels in Liverpool’s cultural crown. The Terracotta Warriors exhibition is surely one of the most important exhibitions we have ever held here.”
2018 marks a decade since Liverpool was named the European Capital of Culture and Fleming said the exhibition was the “highlight” of the celebrations.
He added: “The past ten years have been an absolute triumph for culture in Liverpool and we are overjoyed to be able to mark this milestone year with our biggest exhibition yet; one that can’t be seen anywhere else in Europe.”
Terracotta Warriors fame
Since they were discovered by chance in 1974, three large pits of life-sized Terracotta Warriors have been uncovered over the last 40 years, each with their own individual clothing and features.
The pits were found to the east of the Emperor’s mausoleum, which at 56 square kilometres is the biggest known burial site on earth. The mausoleum itself remains unopened, but it is estimated that there around 8,000 figures in total, most of which are still be excavated.
It is thought that Emperor Qin Shi Huang wanted to take the entire universe into the afterlife and so had the figures made to protect him. The scale and lavishness of the burial site, and the mystery surrounding the mausoleum forms a major part of the exhibition.
Watch the video below for more on behind the scenes of the Terracotta Warriors:
Discounted group ticket rates are available.
GTOs should head to www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk to fill in the group visit request form for parties of ten or more.
Lead image: Ten lifesize Terracotta Warriors are on display as well as more than 180 artefacts.
(Lead image on e-newsletter photo credit: Gareth Jones).