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Terracotta Warriors Draw over 70mln Visitors

The world famous terracotta warriors at the Qinshihuang Mausoleum have received more than 70 million visitors from both at home and overseas since they were discovered 30 years ago, according to an ongoing academic meeting.


"The Museum of Terracotta Warriors at Qinshihuang Mausoleum has received 50 million Chinese and overseas visitors since it was opened to visitors in 1979," said Tian Jing, director of research institute under the museum.


The terracotta warriors and horses also drew over 20 million overseas visitors when they toured 30 countries and regions across the world, noted the director.


The mausoleum of the Emperor Qing Shi Huang, the first emperor of the imperial Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), is regarded as "the eighth wonder of the world" for its large scale and great artistic quality, and has been listed as a world heritage site by the UNESCO in December 1987.


Located in Lintong county, 35 km east of Xi'an, capital of northwestern Shaanxi Province, the mausoleum was accidentally discovered by a group of farmers in March 1974 when they were digging a well in the region.


Nearly 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors and horses along with tens of thousands of pieces of weaponry have been uncovered from three pits. The terra-cotta warriors and horses had lain undiscovered for almost 2,200 years.


A museum was opened in October 1979 to give a full display as well as protection of terracotta warriors and horses.


The terracotta warriors and horses not only serve as a symbol of cultural exchange between Shaanxi and the outside of the world, but also as an "image ambassador" of China.


So far, more than 50,000 valuable funerary objects have been unearthed. And now the government is working to construct a national park for the mausoleum. And more exhibition halls are also in the works.


The four-day long seminar began on Monday to honor the 30th anniversary of the cemetery's discovery and 25th anniversary of museum's opening, with more than 100 scholars and experts both domestic and overseas attending the meeting.


(Xinhua News Agency July 28, 2004)

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Tombs Renovation to Cost Millions
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