Te Papa to host Chinese terracotta warriors

The 2300-year-old treasures will appear in Wellington next year.
The 2300-year-old treasures will appear in Wellington next year. Photo credit: Getty

Te Papa will host China's ancient terracotta warriors for a 2018 exhibition.

The clay army was created 2300 years ago for the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor.Some of them will be displayed at a major exhibition at the Wellington museum, which will be open from December 2018 to April 2019. 

The 'China's Terracotta Armies' exhibition is expected to cost more than $4m, most of which will go on transporting the life-size statues to and from China.

The 8000 uniquely designed figures were discovered in 1974 in pits near the emperor's mausoleum, and were built to protect him in the afterlife.

Te Papa's exhibition will feature eight warriors, two horses and two replica bronze-drawn chariots.

Wellington has previously held an exhibition featuring miniature replicas of the terracotta army, but not the original figures. It will be an immersive exhibition, potentially including virtual reality experiences.

The museum's head of partnerships and development, Wladimir Ramsteijn, expects the exhibition to attract more than one hundred thousand visitors and make about $41m, as reported by Stuff.