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1 September 2017

China gifts Replica Terracotta Warriors to Scotland

Two replica terracotta warriors will be on display, having been presented to the nation by Chinese cultural counterparts.

A woman holding her face up close to the face of a Chinese statue

As part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, two replica terracotta warriors will be on display at Stirling Castle, having been presented to the nation by Chinese cultural counterparts.

The two reproductions, made using traditional materials and techniques, were formally accepted by Minister for International Development and Europe Dr Alasdair Allan on behalf of the Scottish public.

International Development Minister Alasdair Allan said: “I’d like to thank the Beijing HUA XIA YAN International Culture and Creative Company for gifting these two outstanding replica Terracotta Warriors to the people of Scotland. It is fitting that this Chinese cultural showcase is being held at a time when Scotland celebrates the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.”

Dr David Mitchell, Director at the Engine Shed, a dedicated centre for conservation established by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), said:

Traditional skills and materials are particularly important to us, and our discussions with our Chinese colleagues have demonstrated that we share many common challenges and can benefit from sharing our knowledge.

“As a part of important activities in the Scottish Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, HES and the University of Stirling have been working with Beijing HUA XIA YAN International Culture and Creative Company from early this year to get the two beautiful reproductions of the Terracotta Warriors to Stirling.”

Professor Richard Oram, Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of Stirling, said: “We are tremendously privileged these replicas have been made for us using the same handcrafting techniques as the originals. The original terracotta warriors represented the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a unified China in 210–209 BCE, and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. The figures, dating from approximately the late 3rd century BCE, were discovered in 1974 by farmers in Lintong District, Xi’an, Shaanxi province.”

Visitors to Stirling Castle will also be able to see the ‘China Culture & Craft’ showcase which is being held in the Chapel Royal from 1 to 29 September 2017, as part of collaboration between Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the University of Stirling and the Art Exhibitions China. The exhibition will showcase around 100 Chinese artisan craft objects, made in traditional materials and using traditional techniques. Some of them will be contemporary in design and material combined with traditional style, employing innovative craftsmanship.

A woman standing behind and to the side of a Chinese statue

The bronze reproductions include the famous Square Vessel (fang zun) with four rams which was made in the late Shang period between 1300-1046 BC and excavated in 1938, the Painted Goose and Fish Lamp which was made in the Western Han between 206 BC – 8 AD and excavated in 1985, and The Mask with Protruding Eyes, which was made in the late Shang between 1300-1046 BC and excavated in 1986 at Sanxingdui.

The small size reproductions of the Bronze Chariot and Horses which was excavated from Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum and other terracotta warriors-related creative productions will also be displayed in this show case.

In January 2017, HES signed an international agreement with the University of Stirling and The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, in Beijing, China. This partnership has established international research collaborations for heritage and conservation at the University which investigate a range of issues facing built heritage and the impacts of climate and wider environmental changes on a global scale.       

From 1 to 2 September, the University of Stirling, The Palace Museum and HES will host an inaugural international conference on global challenges in cultural heritage, which will bring together academics, conservation practitioners and heritage professionals from around the world to explore and share approaches to specific challenges in relation to a range of shared issues, and to highlight Scotland's place, and in particular Stirling, as an international centre for research and innovation in heritage and conservation.

Entry to the ‘China Culture & Craft’ showcase is included in the normal Stirling Castle admission price and is free for members.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017

2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology (HHA), a year that will celebrate Scotland’s people, our distinct culture and traditions, our historic landscapes, attractions and icons as well as our hidden gems and amazing stories. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, 2017 is the year to explore Scotland’s fascinating past. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and a variety of partners.

Get involved on Twitter with #HHA2017

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 logo

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Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory 

Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland @VisitHistoricScotland


For further information

Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8588
Mobile: 07881 512 379