China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors

Since becoming parents my husband and I have unintentionally started a new hobby which basically involves going to places and events with the kids and spending the whole time talking about how good a place it would be to go to without the kids.

This is usually because around 85% of the time at said place or event is spent chasing the kids around, shushing them and telling them to stop shouting/fighting/running off/touching things. In the last few weeks we’ve excelled at taking the kids to places it would be better not to take the kids to. There was the rushed afternoon at Spaceport in Wallasey, the stressful Saturday at the Catalyst in Widnes and the, ahem, ‘incident’ at the Museum of Liverpool which we’ve all agreed should be forgotten. As such, when I was invited to review the world famous Terracotta Warriors exhibition at World Museum with my children I assumed I’d be adding it to the list above.

As it was I was more than pleasantly surprised.

The exhibition is nothing short of breathtaking. Featuring a number of the lifesize warriors buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China (in order to keep him safe in the afterlife) and detailing the legacies of the Qin and Han dynasties this stunning display is must see for any older child or adult. My children, however, are four and two so I was concerned they might have been a little young.

To be fair, the two year old was. She has no idea what China is, she obviously can’t read and since she thinks I’m 74 (thanks Eliza) she clearly has no concept of age or time either. As such trying to get her to grasp the fact the things we were looking at were over 2,000 years old and therefore this was astonishing was pretty fruitless.

But my four year old DID enjoy it and that was largely down to the fact each part of the exhibition featured questions for kids to answer. Whoever came up with this genius idea is a hero in my book. It meant that while my husband and I could marvel at the figures and artefacts George was busy counting how many hooves he could see or identifying the weapon the Emperor was carrying.

One part of the exhibition that did ‘wow’ all four of us however was the recreation of the Emperor’s mausoleum, which you get to just before the exit. It’s a mesmerising 3D display using technology to create the tomb, which has yet to be discovered.

In all it took us about one hour to get around but we certainly could have stayed longer had it not been for a wilful two year old who’d decided she’d had quite enough of being told what to do that day. However, when she’s older I’ll be able to tell her she truly witnessed a piece of history.

This is not to be missed.

China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors runs until 28 October.

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