Treasures unearthed from the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang, who in 220 BC unified a country which is now China, are leaving their museum in Xi'an for London.
The exhibits, which will reach London on Monday, include 15 terracotta warrior figures of different ranks, five carts and horses, as well as 100 terracotta figures of musicians, dancers, acrobats, weapons and bronze ritual ornaments as well as jade and pottery artifacts.
The 120 objects are to be displayed at a seven-month exhibition titled "The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army", which will open at the British Museum on September 13.
It is the first time that finds at the mausoleum in the capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, which were discovered accidentally by villagers in 1974, are being sent overseas in a large number, said Wu Yongqi, curator of the Qin Shihuang Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum.
They have been wrapped in 120 boxes and will be heavily guarded throughout the trip, he added.
At least 400,000 visitors are expected at the exhibition in London, said Hannah Boulton, spokeswoman for the British Museum.
(China Daily August 10, 2007)