There’s a pretty good chance you have heard of the Terracotta Warriors – a collection of terracotta sculptures created to represent the armies of Qin Shi Huang, first Emperor of China. After being buried for over 2000 years 3 farmers uncovered the burial site in 1974, which stretched for approximately 98 square kilometres (38 square miles) and was ‘protected’ by the army of statues. It is estimated that the site held over 8,000 of the terracotta soldiers as well as chariots and horses. It is believed that the sculptures were designed to accompany the Emperor on his journey to the afterlife. He must have thought he was going to need a lot of help!
How wonderful it would be to visit the terracotta warriors in their original surroundings, but that is a dream for us at the moment. Great excitement then, when it was announced in 2017 that Liverpool’s World Museum would be hosting a Terracotta Warrior Exhibition during 2018.
We visited the museum with the two ‘grown ups’ on a wet Sunday morning – pre-booked tickets in hand. Train to Liverpool Lime Street and just a short 5-minute walk to the museum. We were all very excited by the prospect of viewing some of the original warriors and the exhibition did not disappoint. From the moment you walk into the exhibition, after an odd 3 minutes film, you are greeted by one of the warriors and a horse statue.
Visitors are allowed in in groups of 40 and actively encouraged to photograph the exhibition including selfies! Just one rule – no flash and if you are not sure how to take your flash off ask one of the staff! In addition to the horse and warrior as you enter, you will see other artefacts including smaller horses and chariots and miniature warriors (very anatomically correct –‘Mum those statues have no clothes on!’).
The highlight of the exhibition are the seven warriors standing together. Cleverly and very pleasing to us as photographers – the screen behind the statues changes to feature the warriors as they were when they were painted, screens depicting the pits in China and our favourite – plain grey which offered a perfect background for some very atmospheric shots.
We spent well over an hour in the exhibition and. although busy. it was never too crowded that you couldn’t get near to them. In these days, were everyone is a photographer, the room was full of cameras and phones and some of the photographs people were taking looked amazing – can’t help but look at their screens for inspiration!
Exit through the shop surprise, surprise where you could even buy you own mini set of terracotta statues or if you had £1500 to spare an almost full-size replica.
We enjoyed a lovely lunch in the restaurant downstairs and then a whistle stop tour of space, dinosaurs and Ancient Egypt before a mad dash to catch the train home.
Just need to save up for a trip to China now!
Life and other