News

Exhibit of Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors Is Largest Ever in US

Curator says ticket sales set a record for the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC

More than 2000 years old, the warrior and his horse is one of the clay cavalrymen that once protected the tomb of the first Chinese emperor Qin Shihuangdi. Now at the entrance to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC until March 2010
More than 2000 years old, the warrior and his horse is one of the clay cavalrymen that once protected the tomb of the first Chinese emperor Qin Shihuangdi. Now at the entrance to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC until March 2010

The exhibit Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China's First Emperor has opened at Washington, D.C.'s National Geographic Museum.  This is the fourth and last city on a U.S. tour before the ancient statues and artifacts return to China.

This statue is more than 2,000 years old, is one of the clay cavalrymen that once protected the tomb of the first Chinese emperor Qin Shihuangdi.  The warrior and his horse are now at the entrance to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, and is among the largest number of Chinese terra cotta figures ever to travel to the United States.

Stanford University Professor Albert Dean curated the exhibit. It includes 15 life-size terra cotta figures and 100 sets of artifacts. 

"This army represents an unusual display of the level of craftsmanship in ancient China and of the scale of resources able to be mustered," Dean explained.

Thirty-five years ago a group of farmers near Xi'an in China's Shaanxi province, were digging a well. They came across a terra cotta warrior, leading to one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the 20th century.

Today, archeologists believe that about 7,000 vivid, life size ceramic figures, horses and chariots were buried in a massive underground tomb complex. About a thousand have been excavated. The warriors were supposed to protect Emperor Qin Shihuangdi in his afterlife.  

Professor Dean says the discovery of the terra cotta soldiers has provided a wealth of information about the Qin dynasty, including the construction of the tomb complex  which took 36 years.

"When they start figuring out how much wood it took to build these things, the kind of clays, all of this, the amounts stagger the imagination," Dean said.

This is the largest exhibit of Chinese terra cotta figures to tour the United States.

Xie Feng, a diplomat at China's embassy in Washington, spoke at the exhibit's press preview. He referred to President Barack Obama's visit to Beijing, which was taking place on the same day.  

"President Obama's visit to China is historic and so is too this exhibit.  Their coincidence is auspicious sign of further developments of U.S-China cultural exchange of mutual understanding and friendship."  

Susan Norton, Director of the National Geographic Museum, says the show  is already a success. "It is beyond our wildest dreams.  As of this morning we sold over 96,000 tickets.  This is unheard of," she said.

The museum shop is offering the chance for visitors to take something home: from small replicas of the terra cotta figures to Chinese souvenirs.

The exhibit remains in Washington, D.C. through the end of March 2010.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs