Friday, December 12, 2008

Chinese Terracotta Warriors in Maaseik

The army of Chinese Terracotta Warriors has come to Belgium in the Museum of Maaseik, Limburg from 1 October to 31 March 2009.

I saw this exhibition at the British Museum, London in January and can certainly recommend a visit. My young sons were fascinated.

Musea Maaseik site in Dutch, French, English and German

The world-famous Terracotta Army was discovered near the Chinese city of Xi’an, capital of the Shaanxi province. The Terracotta Army is over 2000 years old and has become an attraction of worldwide renown – year after year attracting millions of visitors from all over the world. It was placed on the UNESCO world heritage list and undoubtedly ranks among the greatest archeological finds of the 20th century.

The Terracotta Army comprises foot soldiers, cavalrymen with horses, archers and charioteers. They guarded the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuangdi. The tomb complex of Emperor Qin Shihuangdi is surrounded by the tombs of princes and princesses. This remarkable funerary cult from the Qin dynasty acquires a specific character during the subsequent Western Han dynasty. Numerous unique grave gifts from both dynasties have been discovered by archaeologists. These enable us to study and admire the cultural development during the early days of the Chinese empire.

Fourteen warriors from the Terracotta Army will be on display inside the Minorite church, the exhibition space of the Maaseik Museums. Each of these statues has its own unique appearance. The facial features, hair style, posture and costume make each of the statues into a strikingly individual member of this awesome army.
On average the statues are 186 cm tall, weighing about 300 kilograms.

These life-size sculptures are literally placed in confrontation with the more delicate terracotta armies of the emperors from the Western Han dynasty. In addition to the fourteen original terracotta warriors, the Maaseik Museums are proud to present over two hundred grave gifts from the Qin and Western Han dynasties. These objects originate from the tomb complexes of the emperors and the tombs of aristocrats following their emperor into the hereafter. These unique weapons and other objects made of iron, bronze, silver, gold, stoneware and jade exemplify the riches of the ruling class of the early Chinese Empire.

E-tickets cost 16,50 € for adults, 5,75 € for children and school groups.

The website also offers packages with hotels and possibly a trip to Maasmechelen Designer Outlet Shopping Village.

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