Terracotta Army to Conquer Canada from 2010 - 2012

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The launch of the 2010-2012 Canadian national tour of The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army was announced this morning at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). At the event, attended by media and special guests including The Honourable Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Tourism and Culture, it was confirmed that the Government of China has named the ROM as the Canadian tour’s organizing museum, as well as its premiere venue. The national tour, marking the first time that the Terracotta Army has appeared in Canada, will encompass four venues across the country. Following the ROM’s engagement, commencing in late June 2010, the exhibition will travel to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Glenbow Museum in Calgary and the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. Representatives from each of these provincial museums were in attendance at the announcement.

The exhibition showcases one of the most significant archaeological finds in history: the 1974 discovery, in China’s northern Shaanxi province, of thousands of life-sized terracotta sculptures of Chinese warriors. These extraordinary figures, along with countless treasures yet to be uncovered in the elaborate underground tomb complex of China’s First Emperor, were created during the Qin Dynasty, 2,200 years ago.

“This truly awe-inspiring exhibit will be the must-see attraction of 2010 for visitors to the ROM,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture. “The Terracotta Army exhibit is yet another example of the current cultural renaissance that is helping re-establish Toronto as an exciting centre of creativity and excellence.

“The ROM takes great pride in being chosen as the organizing museum for this important Canadian tour,” states William Thorsell, the ROM’s Director and CEO. “We look forward to introducing our visitors to China’s rich cultural legacy, focusing on these extraordinary terracotta warriors. We are thrilled to present them to Canadian audiences and honoured to be accorded this sign of respect and trust by the Government of China.”

Dr. Chen Shen, Senior Curator and Bishop White Chair of Far Eastern Art and Archaeology in the ROM’s World Cultures department is the exhibition’s curator and responsible for developing the content of the Canadian tour. Dr. Shen emphasizes, “This Canadian national tour is a newly developed and contextually different presentation than previous, international displays. The number of full sized warriors and the exhibition’s scope makes this the largest display of the First Emperor’s terracotta army ever to be seen in North America. Many of the artifacts displayed during the upcoming Canadian tour have never before left China. In fact, some have not yet been displayed in any museum in China. This is a major triumph for the ROM and its Canadian tour partners.””..

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