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Terracotta Warriors' fine detail thrills US museum-goers

China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-11-20 11:23

RICHMOND, Virginia - Ten Terracotta Warriors have "marched' into the capital of Virginia, as local museum-goers, impressed by the statues' delicacy and artistry, experience an extraordinary taste of Chinese history.

The life-size figures, including warriors and a horse, which protected the tomb of Qin Shihuang, China's first emperor, are on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, as part of the China-themed exhibition Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China.

"The Terracotta Army is one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century," VMFA Director Alex Nyerges said.

The exhibition, which will run from Nov 18 to March 11, showcases more than 130 works of art drawn from the collections of 14 art museums and archaeological institutes across Northwest China's Shaanxi province. It includes more than 40 objects never shown before in the United States.

"From the featured objects, our audience will learn about the First Emperor's political and cultural innovation and legacy as well as gain a better understanding about ancient Chinese cultural history as part of world civilization," Nyerges said.

The terracotta figures displayed at the VMFA were among the estimated 8,000 life-size sculptures of warriors, chariots and horses that were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong District, outside Xi'an in Shaanxi province.

The grand mausoleum complex was listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a World Heritage Site in 1987.

Nyerges said the exhibition is the first of its kind organized by the VMFA devoted to the art and archaeology of ancient China in the museum's 80-year history.

The three-section exhibition will take visitors on a journey to explore how the Qin state developed into an empire under Ying Zheng (259-210 BC), who unified China and declared himself Qin Shihuang, or the First Emperor of Qin, and his quest for immortality.

The exhibition features arms and armor, horse and chariot fittings, ritual bronze vessels, works in gold and silver, jade ornaments, precious jewelry, ceramics and architectural components that were excavated from the Emperor Qin Shihuang's mausoleum, as well as aristocratic, commoner and nomadic tombs.


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