Liverpool celebrates arrival of Terracotta Warriors

Liverpool’s Terracotta Warriors exhibition opens tomorrow (February 9), starting a year of events marking 10 years since the city’s status as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

The city is home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe and will be celebrating the arrival of the China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition with Chinese New Year events during February.

On display at World Museum until October 28, the exhibition is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people, taking the museum’s visitor numbers to more than seven million since 2008.

David Fleming, National Museums Liverpool director, said: “The past 10 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.

“World Museum is one of the jewels in Liverpool’s cultural crown. It’s been in its current location since 1860 and welcomes almost 700,000 visitors every year. The Terracotta Warriors exhibition is surely one of the most important exhibitions we have ever held here.”

Spanning almost 1,000 years, the blockbuster exhibition tells the story of the formative years of the Chinese nation.

There are 10 life-size figures – including a terracotta cavalry horse – on display as part of a collection of more than 180 artefacts from Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s vast burial complex in Shaanxi Province, north west China.

Culture secretary Matt Hancock said: “The Terracotta Warriors are an iconic cultural treasure produced by ancient China. Bringing them to Liverpool is a real coup and testament to the strength of the UK-China cultural relationship.

“This exhibition will boost tourism to the region, attract visitors from across the UK and Europe and highlights once again that Liverpool is a world class destination for arts and culture.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of activities for schools and a public events programme throughout the duration of its run.

Picture © Gareth Jones.