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Royal Ontario Museum Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army Exhibition Sets Record

The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army is the most successful exhibition presented by the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in the decade since Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids (2000).

From the exhibition’s opening at the ROM on June 26, 2010 to its January 2, 2011 closing, an outstanding 355,196 visitors experienced the unique opportunity to see this showcase of nearly 250 artifacts from the elaborate underground tomb complex of China’s First Emperor. This attendance figure includes The Warrior Emperor school visits of over 12,000 students and accompanying adults.

ROM Director and CEO Janet Carding said, “The ROM was honoured to work with our partners in China to create this exhibition uniquely for Canadian audiences. We are especially proud that The Warrior Emperor is distinguished as the most physically accessible exhibition in the Museum’s history. Numerous enhancements ensured that as many visitors as possible were able to learn about China’s rich heritage and experience this highly significant archaeological discovery first hand”

From December 26, 2010 to January 1, 2011, the ROM offered extended hours to accommodate the demand for the final days of this high-profile exhibition. A total 56,742 visitors, including a remarkable 9,935 people visiting on December 28, enjoyed this year’s ROM for the Holidays’ Terracotta Warrior-themed family programming from December 27 to January 2.

The Warrior Emperor project at the ROM brought archaeology and culture together with an emphasis on associated programs for scholars, adults and families. The ROM’s Director’s Signature Series showcased internationally renowned speakers prior to the exhibition’s opening and, throughout its engagement, an exceptional lecture series featured leading authorities from around the world. The three-day Life in the Afterlife Symposium was warmly received as was the Terracotta Warrior-themed Weekends at the Museum family programming.

The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army highlights one of the most significant archaeological finds in history: the 1974 discovery, in Shaanxi province in north-central China, of thousands of life-sized terracotta sculptures of Chinese warriors created 2,200 years ago. Often referenced as the eighth wonder of the world, the site was added to the official list of World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1987. The exhibition, featuring 10 life-sized complete terracotta figures, including two of the nine generals uncovered to date, now travels to Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts where it will be displayed from February 12 to June 26, 2011.

Image: The Royal Ontario Museum

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