China’s Terracotta Warriors Storm Sydney

Exhibition Presents 120 Objects From The Mausoleum Of China’s First Emperor, Qin Shihuang

Qin Shihuang's terracotta army is one of the most recognizable Chinese archeological finds (Image: Creative Commons-licensed photo by Flickr user Kevin Poh)

Qin Shihuang’s terracotta army is one of the most recognizable Chinese archeological finds (Image: Creative Commons-licensed photo by Flickr user Kevin Poh)

Considering they’re 2,000 years old, the terracotta warriors of the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuang, certainly get around. Although “terracotta diplomacy” isn’t quite on par with “panda diplomacy,” in recent years China has sent terracotta warriors, along with artifacts found in Qin’s tomb, to London, Washington, D.C. and Canada (for a four-city tour). Starting today, 10 soldiers and horses from Qin’s terracotta army descend on Sydney, as part of an exhibition that presents over 120 artifacts from the emperor’s mausoleum in Shaanxi, northwest China.

According to Xinhua, the exhibition, which runs at the Art Gallery of New South Wales through March 13, 2011, in the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, is designed to evoke the actual pits where the terracotta army was discovered in 1974. Although this isn’t the first time Qin’s warriors have been presented in Australia — their Sydney appearance in 1983 marked the first time they were exhibited outside of China — this time around, visitors will be able to examine the statues and artifacts up close. Additionally, a significant proportion of the artifacts on display in the new exhibition are recently discovered. From Xinhua:

A senior curator of Chinese art in the art gallery told Xinhua that the exhibition is drawn from 13 museums in Shaanxi province, including the Museum of Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, the Shaanxi Provincial Archaeological Institute and the Shaanxi History Museum.

To make it successful, the gallery has spent more than 2 million AU dollars (around 2 million U.S. dollars) on the exhibition, the curator said.

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