Terracotta Army Museum denies major discovery
Chinese media reports that 100 new terracotta warriors have been found
By Chris Gill. Web only
Published online: 01 September 2009
Beijing. The director of the Terracotta Army Museum (officially titled the Xi’An Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum) and other officials at the institution denied local media reports that a major discovery of 100 new terracotta warriors has been made.
China’s state news agency Xinhua, and the AFP, reported that archaeologists have found 100 figures in the “number three” excavation pit at the museum’s site in Shaanxi Province, where work started one month ago.
Director of the museum, Chao Wei, told The Art Newspaper that “it is impossible, the pit is only 200 sq. m, if you were here and saw the site you would see it was not possible to have 100 figures in the pit. Potentially there are maybe ten figures, but work has only just begun”.
Liu, the museum’s vice director, told us: “We are not allowed to discuss this too much with outside sources—I think there has been a discovery, but there is no way there are so many figures.”
Commenting on news that the admission price for the Terracotta Army Museum may be reduced next year, Chao said: “I don’t think it’s likely. We are the highest level state museum, so not under the authority of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.” Chao said that tickets are currently RMB90 ($15). He also said that the museum saw three million visitors last year, and he believes numbers are higher this year.
Chao also confirmed that his museum is cooperating with a German government institution on the preservation of colours on excavated figures. “But there are only very little traces of colour sometimes found,” he said.
In related news, state media announced that a travelling show—“Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor”—with around 100 pieces from the Terracotta Army Museum collection, will travel from China to the Houston Museum of Natural Science in the US for an exhibition from 22 May to 18 October, and then on to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC, from 19 November to 31 March 2010.
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