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Giving Terracotta Warriors a fighting chance

Updated: 2023-10-21 09:33 ( China Daily )
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Cultural relic conservators restore Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) pottery figurines in a lab at the Chongqing Cultural Heritage Protection Center in 2020. [Photo by Wang Kaihao/China Daily]

Conservators and restorers have made continuous innovations in science and technology applications over the past few years in China to show cultural relics in a new light, literally, and help traditional culture shine with a greater vitality. With modern technology and equipment preserving the true colors of cultural heritage, now people can better appreciate history.

A 3D-printed replica of a green-faced Terracotta Warrior from the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) at the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum recently attracted a large and appreciative audience at an exhibition in Chongqing, Southwest China.

The exhibition, Crafts First: Technology and Equipment for Cultural Relics Preservation, kicked off on Sept 27 and showcases technologies and equipment used in the prevention of damage, protection, research and management, as well as the use of cultural relics. It is said to be the first of its kind in the country. The exhibition will last three months.

A 3D-printed replica of a green-faced Terracotta Warrior on display. [Photo by Deng Rui/China Daily]

The new knowledge and technologies have been used on the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, part of the funeral objects from the tomb of China's first emperor, Qinshihuang (259-210 BC), which is widely known in China as the Eighth Wonder of the World.

The mausoleum, including the pits of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, was placed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1987.

In recent years, the National Cultural Heritage Administration has attached great importance to preservation equipment for cultural relics.

After more than 10 years of development, the overall support and service offered by cultural relics protection equipment has greatly improved, boosting the development of cultural heritage, according to Li Qun, director of the administration.

"China has achieved the integration of technology and specialized equipment, industrial application and service-oriented manufacturing in the field of cultural relics. Protection equipment has become an indispensable measure in the use and passing on of cultural relics," he said at the Seminar on Cultural Relics Protection Technology and Equipment on Sept 27 in Chongqing.

"We have achieved major breakthroughs in protecting our cultural relics and some of our technology and equipment is among the best in the world."

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