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The Terracotta Warriors invade Liverpool
The Terracotta Warriors

I have been quite fortunate to have had a fine opportunity to visit the UK exhibition of the Terracotta warriors. The Exhibition is located at the World Museum in Liverpool and I visited in the second week it was open.

So what is there at the Exhibition?

There are 7 actual Terracotta warriors on display.  This might seem a paltry number yet they are life size, immensely heavy, and loom large on their stands.  The figures have been well selected to give a representation across the range of soldier types.  The artisan makers must have forget to varnish their figures because they are presented in a monochrome finish.  I think all our members understand that varnish adds durability to a figure!

In addition the Exhibition has several replica pieces of other warriors including two bronze chariots with horse teams and crew.   Other cases contain a wide variety of artefacts, not all military.  In the exhibition space beyond the warriors are other smaller soldiers from a different era and a number of other exhibits.  The whole ensemble has many facets with illustrative pieces and narrative boards.  The Exhibition struck me quite colourful, imaginative and well presented that filled both the time and space available.  I think the amount and manner of displays belied what was a fairly limited sized exhibition hall.

Should I stay or should I go now?

This will be a very subjective assessment.  

For me I was fortunate to take it in the round.  This included a friends' birthday and a convivial meal in the evening with our respective partners at a cool restaurant.  I even got a game in during the week end.

If you have Ancient Chinese figures or have a latent interest in the subject, it is an excellent exhibition.  Personally I consider the location a long way to go for a few hours gazing at artefacts, even though some are literally life size.  Conversely, it is a whole lot closer than China where the Terracotta Army location is still in a remote part of the country.  Although the China excavations will present the spectacle of serried ranks, it is possible to get within touching distance of the warriors at Liverpool, a feat not possible in China.

Practical Points

If you do want make a visit, do look online first well ahead of when you plan your trip. When we looked at going the entries to the exhibition were timed to permit successive cohorts of visitors to enter together. These timed tickets I am guessing will be the way the exhibition is marshalled the whole time.  The cohort is assembled and given a bit of a Chinese propaganda film before going through to the Exhibition Hall. Once inside the visitor is free to roam for as long as they want, until it closes of course.  The big tip is, if the warriors are the real source of your interest, then when you go inside the hall just ignore the big terracotta horse right in your face (which is a replica) and everything else.  Instead, march directly to the end of the hall and turn right. This is where the warriors are all lined up together.

I know that the museum holds back a few tickets to sell “on the day.”  If you do want to go then I would not rely on getting one of those.  Book in advance, either online or by phone, where I found them a little more flexible.

The museum houses several floors with other exhibitions and a reasonable cafe on the ground floor.
We were able to park all day about half a mile away at an cost that seemed equivalent to about 1 hour in Southampton.

The Exhibition is on until 28 October.  If anyone else does go I hope that you enjoy the Exhibition as much as I did.

Steve Douglas
Big Grin

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