Ancient terracotta warriors from China will march into a Dutch
museum for the first time ever with the official opening on
Saturday of an exhibition in Assen in northern Netherlands.
Fourteen life-sized terracotta figures, including 10 warriors,
three servants and one horse, form part of the show "The Terracotta
Army of Xi'an: The Treasures of the First Emperors of China," which
opens in the Drents Museum on Saturday.
They will be accompanied by over 200 other magnificent objects,
made of gold, jade and bronze, from the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC)
and the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-9 AD), Ellen ter Hofstede,
communication officer of the Drents Museum, told Xinhua on
Among them are two life-sized bronze birds from the Qin Dynasty,
and 96 miniature terracotta statues from the mausoleums of emperors
and noblemen of the Western Han Dynasty.
The exhibition, which runs through Aug. 31, is a joint effort of
the Drents Museum, and the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion
Center in Xi'an, China, Hofstede said.
The exhibition will give visitors an insight into the
extraordinary lengths craftsmen went to in order to delight the
emperors, in both life and death, she said.
The show has generated great media interest in the Netherlands
and is expected to draw 150,000 to 200,000 visitors, an unusually
large crowd for the museum, Hofstede said.
Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen will attend the opening
ceremony on Saturday night, when the Shaanxi Song and Dance Troupe
will give a performance, she said.
The exhibition of the terracotta army is part of the "Go China!"
project, jointly organized by the Drents Museum and the Groninger
Museum, which comprises a total of five exhibitions on Chinese
archaeology, Chinese Realists, avant-garde art and Chinese
In Groningen in the north of Assen, the whole of the Groninger
Museum will be transformed into a "Small Chinese Empire."
The exhibitions of archaeological bronze objects from China's
Shanghai Museum, present-day Chinese art, including work by Ai
Weiwei, and Chinese Realists and Avant-garde art from the 1980s and
the 1990s, will go on show in stages from Feb. 2 to Nov. 23.
The "Go China!" project, designed to coincide with the Olympic
Games in China, will show the versatile and rich culture of China,
according to the press releases of the museums.
Many extra activities will also be organized by both museums,
including music nights, open classes of Tai Chi, and a program for
school kids. These events will "ensure that the northern
Netherlands is completely immersed in Chinese culture in 2008," the
press releases said.
(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2008)