Terracotta Warriors featured at Asian Art Museum

February 20, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A remarkable exhibit showcasing the life and legacy of China's first emperor opens this Friday at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. The hope is that this opportunity to view one of the greatest archeological discoveries of our time will also help bridge relations between the U.S. and China.

Eight-thousand Terracotta warriors have been unearthed so far, but there is only one standing general that's been discovered.

"I thought it was really interesting looking at the faces. They're all different," said museum guest Rajan Bahl.

Wednesday night was the gala opening of this exhibit which coincides with the Chinese Consul General Gao Zhansheng's last public appearance before returning to China. He hopes this exhibit will strengthen U.S. Chinese relations and attract more American students to his country.

"Now many people from the private sector are very enthusiastic about supporting these initiatives," said Zhansheng.

Only a few warriors are visiting the U.S. They were created by artisans 2,000 years ago, after China's first emperor unified the Seven Warring States, and requested a Terracotta army for his afterlife.

There are hundreds of archers, but only one with green paint on his face. Historians believe he was a specialist who could communicate with divine spirits.

"In other words, a specialist to help predict and decide the future for the outcome of the battle," said director of the Asian Art Museum Dr. Jay Xu.

If went to China to see the actual dig, you would have to stand at least 30 feet away from these figures. Here, at this rare exhibit, you can examine them up close. It's a civilization that was connected to the Roman Empire by the Silk Road and now this 120 piece exhibit is making its last stop at the Asian Art Museum before returning to China.

China's Terracotta Warriors opens Friday and runs through May 27th at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza.


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