Terracotta Warriors sets foot in Indiana

Terracotta Warriors sets foot in Indiana

INDIANA, US - Terracotta Warriors from Xi'an have arrived at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis in Indiana ready for their only exhibition in the United States this year.

They are poised to attract visitors with not only the story of the tomb complex of China's first emperor, but also with their original vibrant colors.

The exhibition forms part of the "Take me there: China" programme staged by the world's largest children's museum.

The display, "China's Terracotta Warriors - the Emperor's Painted Army", showcases 265 rare cultural relics - including life-sized warriors - unearthed from pits next to the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang, first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). The exhibition runs from Saturday until Nov 2.

"One of the key exhibits is the colorful head of a soldier made from pottery," said Cao Wei, director of the Emperor Qin Shihuang Mausoleum Site Museum.

Considered by many to be the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Terracotta Army has been under the global spotlight since being discovered in a village in a suburb of Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, in 1974.

For a long time, the fact that the Terracotta Warriors were painted remained unknown to many, because the warriors soon lost their colors as the paint curled and peeled on exposure to air.

Thanks to new technology developed in cooperation with a German institute, technicians at the site can now preserve the relics in their original colors.

"The colors better highlight the expressions on the figures' faces," Cao said.

Besides the warriors, the exhibition includes other relics associated with the first emperor, such as bronze swords inlaid with gold and turquoise.

"We hope the exhibition will help introduce the history of ancient and contemporary Chinese culture to an American audience, especially children," Cao said.

To enhance the experience, the Indianapolis museum, which is visited by more than 1 million people a year, is planning a range of activities for families.

Visitors can pose with warrior cutouts at the museum and at Indianapolis International Airport and will be able to submit the photos to social media sites.

Pang Yani, director of the Shaanxi provincial heritage exchange centre, which is supporting the exhibition in the US, said it took more than two years to prepare the display.

It is also planned to exhibit the warriors in Japan and Denmark this year, Pang added.


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