More than 2,000 years ago, the first emperor of the Chinese Qin dynasty sculpted a whole army of 8,000 warriors with terracotta. Starting Friday, two of those legendary warriors will stand in a city museum for two months, for Mumbai audiences to gaze at in awe.
The terracotta warriors and 93 other heritage artefacts from six Chinese museums are part of a travelling exhibition, Treasures of Ancient China, that will be inaugurated at Colaba’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrhalaya (CSMVS) on Thursday.
Organised by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and two cultural forums in China, the exhibition will be open to the public from April 8 to June 6.
“The exhibition will encourage Indian youth to understand the cultural heritage of China, which has deep links with our own culture and which has influenced the art of southeast Asian countries,” said Sabyasachi Mukherjee, director of the museum, which has devoted three galleries to this exhibition.
Besides the stone soldiers, the star attractions at the ancient China exhibition include original tools and implements from the neolithic period (21st century BC), tri-coloured glazed pottery from the 7th century, rare red and blue porcelain jars and Buddhist statues inspired by Indian Gandhara Art.
“This is the first time that ancient China museum collections have come to India, and the exhibition is an important step in the ongoing cultural dialogue between the two countries,” said Urmila Sant, director of antiquity, museums and exhibitions at ASI’s Delhi circle.
In 2006, as part of the Indo-China Friendship Year celebrations, a similar
‘Treasures of Ancient India’ exhibition had travelled to four cities in China. The Ancient China exhibition will also travel to Hyderabad and Kolkata.