The first batch of terracotta figures, including the famed warriors, arrived at the British Museum in London on Tuesday, as part of the exhibition "The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army" which opens on September 13.
The show, which celebrates the life of Ying Zheng, China's first true emperor, is expected to draw a huge crowd. Advance ticket sales have reached almost 60,000, a British Museum record.
The twenty figures consist of a dozen warriors plus assorted musicians, acrobats, court officials, and their five horses, British media reports. They are accompanied by other cultural relics such as bronze, jade articles, and pottery.
The 120 objects from the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang, who ruled from 221 to 207 BC, were trucked to Beijing, from where they were flown to London, where an exhibition has been scheduled at the British Museum from September 13 to April 6, 2008.
The museum has created a spectacular ￡1m temporary exhibition space in its famous Round Reading Room to welcome the visitors.
Peasants digging a well came upon the terracotta army - foot soldiers, archers, cavalrymen, and officers of all ranks - in four pits at Xi'an in the central province of Shaanxi in 1974.
An exhibition of the terracotta army was staged in Edinburgh in 1985.
(CRI.cn August 22, 2007)