Pictured on April 6, 2009, the ancient Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang near the city of Xian in Shanxi province in China. (Shutterstock.com/WaitForLight)
China's renowned Terracotta Warriors have been brought to Thailand for the first time for an three-month exhibition at National Museum Bangkok that started from Sunday.
The opening ceremony of the exhibition "Qin Shi Huang, The First Emperor of China and Terracotta Warriors", was held on Sunday afternoon, after which many Thais flooded into the Siwamokkhaphiman Throne Hall to take a glimpse of the over 2,000-year old Terracotta Warriors, or funerary sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang.
Held jointly by Thailand's Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Culture and China's Shaanxi Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage, the exhibition collected 86 items of artifacts from 14 leading museums around Shaanxi province, said Qian Jikui, deputy director of the Shaanxi Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage, during the opening ceremony.
Qian told the audience that the exhibition is divided into four parts, Before the Qin Empire, Qin Empire: Unification and the Birth of China, Terracotta Army: Its Discovery and Mystery, The Prosperous Empire of Han with Terracotta Army being the core part.
"We are trying to show people the history and culture of Qin Empire, from its beginning to its impact on the later history of China," Qian said.
Wissanu Krea-ngam, deputy prime minister of Thailand, told the opening ceremony that it is a very rare chance to see Terracotta Warriors and other Chinese artifacts of great value in Bangkok and he encourages Thais to take the chance to learn more about China's history and culture.
China has a long history and Qin Shi Huang is a prominent figure, the deputy prime minister said, adding, "We called China Chin in Thai and it is assumed to derive from Qin, the name of Qin Shi Huang's empire, which reveals how influential Qin was."
He also hailed Thailand-China exchange and friendship for hundreds of years and said the exhibition came at a great year which marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 44th anniversary of the establishment of Thailand-China diplomatic relations.
Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Lyu Jian said during the opening ceremony that the exhibition marked that China-Thailand friendship have reached new height.
The Terracotta Army, discovered in 1974, reveals the sophistication of ancient Chinese civilization and its conservation demonstrates the development of Chinese technology, the Chinese ambassador noted, adding that the exhibition would further promote mutual understanding between Chinese and Thai peoples and their friendship.
Thai Minister of Culture Itthiphol Kunplome told Xinhua after the opening ceremony that the exhibition proves how close Thailand-China relations are and it would become a great chance for Thais to learn about history and also to attract tourists.
Itthiphol said it is expected that 200,000 visitors would come to the event during the 3-month long period until Dec 15 this year.
The exhibition attracted many Thais' attention on social media as many commented they would go to visit it for sure and thanked the efforts of both governments to make it happen.
Rakchaneewan, a Thai visitor told Xinhua that she was moved after seeing those artifacts as she can see and feel the ancient Chinese civilization just here, and she hopes the friendship between Thailand and China would last forever.