On 3 September, Ambassador Fu Ying gave interview to the British Museum and introduced the Exhibition of The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army to be held at the British Museum.
Fu Ying highly appreciated the Exhibition in Britain and appraised the efforts of the British Museum as the organizer, she thought that the preparation and promotion of the exhibition were rather successful.Brochures of the exhibition could be found in remote restaurants. Besides, the mainstream media paid extensive attention and lengthy in-depth reports and many British friends were talking about Emperor Qinshihuang. She believed the exhibition would make the British public have a deeper understanding of the earlier history of China and enhance the friendly relationship between the two countries and peoples.
Fu Ying reviewed the exhibitions held by the British Museum in China in recent years and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Museum of China and the British Museum in 2005, she said that the National Museum of China features the history and art and systematically displays the long cultural history of the Chinese nation while the British Museum was a national museum with the longest history in the world, she hoped the two museums could engage in extensive cooperation so as to make positive contributions to the cultural exchanges of the two countries and the understanding between the two peoples.
Fu Ying also introduced the discovery and unearthing of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses and the policies of China on the protection of cultural relics, she pointed out that not all underground cultural relics should be unearthed and the cultural relics that could not be well protected by available technologies and conditions might be left to later generations. Fu Ying said that a lot Chinese archaeologists with Yuan Zhongyi as the representative devoted all their lives to the unearthing and protection of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses and they were respectable.
When talking about the art achievements of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Fu Ying said she had been to the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses for many times and each visit had left a deep impression because all terracotta warriors and horses were so true to life. Fu Ying said when presenting her credentials to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen recalled her visit to Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xi'an in 1986. During that visit, the Queen had a close observation of the terracotta warriors and horses in the pits and admired at the exquisite manufacturing techniques.
As to the appraisal of Emperor Qinshihuang, Fu Ying said Emperor Qinshihuang was a very important figure in Chinese history, there were rather complete and in-depth introduction and analysis of him in Chinese textbooks for middle school students and pupils, most Chinese people knew something about him. Emperor Qinshihuang established the first unified and multiethnic state in the history of China, unified the weights and measures, currency, laws and characters, and was of great historic progressive significance to the development of China. But on the other hand, Emperor Qinshihuang burned books and buried Confucian scholars alive, abused financial resources of the people and was a famous tyrant. Emperor Qinshihuang was a rather complicated historic figure.As Li Zhi, the philosopher of the Ming Dynasty, said: "It is not easy to say whether he is a saint or a monster".
The Exhibition of The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army will begin at the British Museum on 13 September, 2007 and last for half a year till 6 April, 2008. A total of 120 artifacts will be displayed, including 28 terracotta warriors and horses and nearly 100 items of rare cultural relics unearthed at the same time. The exhibition is the biggest one of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses overseas. The British Museum specially converted the reading room at the center of the museum for this exhibition. At present, the British people has responded enthusiastically to the exhibition and 95,000 tickets have been pre-sold.