The Terracotta Army, a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, is coming to Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace on November 20. Five terracotta soldiers will be on display at Topkapı Palace as a part of an exclusive joint exhibition approved by the Chinese government, as the terracotta soldiers are rarely sent overseas for display.
In addition to the soldiers, artwork from the Shanghai Museum and Beijing’s “Forbidden City” will be shown. A terracotta horse, which has never left China, will also be at the exhibition.
The exhibition team, which took special measures to protect the precious pieces, said a highly-priced insurance agreement was paid to bring the terracotta soldiers to Turkey. While it generally takes two or three years to prepare an exhibition of this caliber, the team said Turkish and Chinese representatives were able to prepare the display within one year.
The exhibition will bring Turkey and China closer together through cultural exchange, as Topkapı Palace is a very important museum for Turkey and welcomes some 10,000 visitors each day, the China Art Exhibitions Association vice-manager An Yao said. The museum will host the terracotta army exhibition for three months as well as a display on the Dunhuang Caves.
The Terracotta Army, also known as the “Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses,” is a form of funerary art that was buried with Qin Shi Huang in 210–209 BC for the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife.