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Chinese terracotta soldiers on an overseas visit


Beijing : Over 100 terracotta soldiers dating back to 206 B.C. are on an overseas visit to Sweden, dubbed as one of the largest cultural exchanges between the Asian giant and the Scandinavian nations.

The terracotta warriors will feature in an exhibition in Stockholm starting Aug 27, Chinese embassy officials in Stockholm were quoted as saying by Xinhua.

The terracotta soldiers were first unearthed in Xi’an, capital of China’s Shaanxi province in 1974, and opened to the public in 1978. Qinshihuang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221 B.C.-206 B.C.) ordered the construction of this large army of life-size figures in his mausoleum.

There were a total of over 8,000 terracotta soldiers, each over 180 cm tall, buried around the Qinshihuang mausoleum.

A total of 300 cultural relics will be on display in Stockholm till Jan 16, 2011. A few terracotta soldiers had earlier visited Sweden in 1984.

The soldiers will be exhibited in an underground section of a museum, similar to their original site in Xi’an.

“This will be the largest cultural exchange event between China and Sweden and even the whole Nordic region,” Pu Zhengdong, cultural counsellor at the embassy, said.