Sunday 16 June 2019

China’s famous Terracotta Army stand to attention in Dublin

Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

150 replica statutes from China’s famous Terracotta Army are standing to attention in Dublin’s Ambassador Theatre.

Chinese authorities decided to stop shipping the original artefacts overseas after they suffered a series of damages; a horse and solider were badly damaged in Dublin in 1987 when a piece of scaffolding collapsed on them while they were on display in Kilmainham.

“They are extremely fragile so it was thought best to keep them in China,” organiser Noel McHale explained.

“But these replicas are made in the same area and are just as fragile. Getting them into the Ambassador was a logistical nightmare – thankfully nothing broke.”

The self proclaimed "First Emperor of China" - Qin Shihuangdi – ordered the building the army as part of his gigantic mausoleum shortly after he assumed the throne at the age of 13.

Over 8,000 soldiers stand tall in the mausoleum – each one id unique with slightly different facial expressions.  

“It’s the closest people can get to seeing the army without getting on a plane and going to China,” McHale said.

Qin’s burial site was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987 and is one of China's most popular tourist attractions ranking alongside the Great Wall and Beijing's Forbidden City.

In addition to soldiers on display, the exhibition will include 70 display cases filled with weaponry, jewellery and art.

A documentary on the history of the discovery of the Terracotta Army will also be on display.

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