Terracotta Warriors on sale

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Exhibition to be staged at World Museum in 2018

It has been announced today that tickets for the blockbuster Terracotta Warrior exhibition at Liverpool’s World Museum, will go on sale on Thursday 9 November 2017.

Opening9 February to 28 October 2018, China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors features more than 180 spectacular artefacts from museums across Shaanxi Province, more than half of which have never been on show in the UK before.

This landmark exhibition tells the story of the formative years of the Chinese nation, from the pre-unification Qin Kings, to China’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang’s rise to power and the legacy of his achievements in the succeeding Han Dynasty.

Tickets for the exhibition will go on general sale online at 10am on Thursday 9 November, with a pre-sale for National Museums Liverpool members from 10am on Monday 6 November. Members will also have unlimited free entry to the exhibition.

China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors is an unmissable opportunity to see some of China’s finest national treasures. Visitors will come face to face with the extraordinary Terracotta Warriors, including a life-size terracotta horse, as well as other exquisite objects from the Emperor’s vast burial complex. Objects from the Han Dynasty will explore ancient Chinese lifestyle, the economic prosperity of the empire and beautifully crafted artefacts from royal burials.

Spanning almost 1,000 years, the exhibition sheds light on the formative years of the Chinese nation, from the bitter struggles of warring states in the 8th century BC to the rise of the Qin State and the unification of China by the First Emperor in 221 BC, concluding with the peace and prosperity of the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD).

The exhibition has been curated by leading scholars and designed by National Museums Liverpool, working with the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau and Shaanxi History Museum. China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors will also feature immersive technology to create a unique and evocative interpretation of this historical collection.

David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool, said:

“This is a tremendous coup, not just for Liverpool, but for the whole of the UK. As home to one of the oldest Chinese communities in Europe, Liverpool is absolutely the right place for this exhibition, and we are hugely excited to be working with our museum colleagues in China to bring a collection of Warriors, and many other significant historical discoveries to the UK.

“The Terracotta Warriors have found incredible fame around the world since they were discovered by chance in 1974, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see them in Liverpool. We thank our partners in this endeavour, including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. I urge everyone to attend this ‘must see’ show, the highlight of Liverpool’s 10th anniversary celebrations as European Capital of Culture in 2018.”

Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley, said:  

"The Terracotta Warriors are one of the wonders of ancient China and a phenomenal sight to behold. Bringing a selection of the Warriors to Liverpool is a fantastic achievement that will benefit the whole country.

"This incredible exhibition will undoubtedly boost tourism to the city and attract visitors from across the UK and Europe to see China's greatest national treasure."

Shaanxi Province in North West China was home to the First Emperor and his ancestors. Archaeologists working near Xi’an, the ancient capital of China, have uncovered three large pits of life-sized Terracotta Warriors over the last 40 years, each with their own individual clothing, hair and facial features, along with horses and war chariots. The pits were found to the east of the Emperor’s mausoleum, an area which at 56 square kilometres is the biggest known burial site on earth. The mausoleum itself remains unopened, but it is estimated there are around 8,000 figures in total, most of which are still to be excavated.

Remarkable new discoveries are continually coming to light, which indicate that Emperor Qin Shi Huang wished to take the entire universe into the afterlife. The scale and lavishness of his burial site and the mystery of the Emperor’s mausoleum forms a major component of the exhibition.

Dr. James Lin, from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, has been appointed by National Museums Liverpool as the exhibition’s guest curator. Dr. Lin is an expert in early Chinese material culture, including bronzes and jades.

Dr. Lin, said:

“The tradition of burial practice was continued by the Emperor’s successors in the later Han Dynasty, who constructed vast underground chambers and passageways filled with food and drink, as well as animals and clay servants, examples of which will be included in the exhibition; everything the Emperors would need to ensure they enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle for eternity in their underground palaces.

China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors promises to be an extraordinary exhibition, exploring this fascinating pursuit of immortality.”

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

Tickets are priced from £14.50 for adults and £5.50 for children aged between 6 and 17 years. Children aged 5 years and under go free. There will be a number of additional concessions. Further details of prices and how to book tickets can be found at www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/terracottawarriors 

Current and new members of National Museums Liverpool will have access to pre-sale tickets from 10am on Monday 6 November. To sign up to become a member visit: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/membership  

World Museum’s Terracotta Warriors exhibition will be a major part of Liverpool’s 2018 celebrations, marking 10 years since the city held the title of European Capital of Culture 2008. 

The exhibition is organised by National Museums Liverpool, United Kingdom and the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau and Shaanxi History Museum (Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre), People’s Republic of China.

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Notes to Editors

About World Museum

Experience the world at your fingertips at World Museum, where millions of years of the Earth’s history are revealed through incredible exhibits and hands-on activities. Find out how humans have shaped the world we inhabit, from Africa to the Americas, Asia and Europe. Explore underwater life in the Aquarium and complete your visit by blasting off on a spectacular journey through space and time as the universe unfolds around you in the Planetarium. World Museum’s Ancient Egypt gallery, which houses one of the finest ancient Egyptian and Nubian collections in Europe, opened in 2017. World Museum was awarded a VisitEngland Gold Accolade for excellence in 2015.

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract more than 3 million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery. www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

National Museums Liverpool is regulated by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).  Museums and galleries regulated by DCMS are exempt charities under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011. Registered Office: World Museum, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EN.