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The archaeological team of the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses of Xi'an

Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences 2010

Statement by Xu Weihong, director of the archaeological team of the Xi’an Warriors:

“The Prince of Asturias – Social Sciences Prize is a very important award in the international scientific and cultural. The honors are all important politicians, artists and sociologists. We are very happy when we hear we will get this award. Thanks to the foundation. Here, I want to thank to older archaeologists; they have done very good basis for us. Then I want to thank each member of our team. I think this prize belongs to each of them. The project began in 1974, for now it is 36 years. We have gotten many important achievements and it has a very important role in the world’s archaeological field. But we still meet some difficult, such as color protection and new technical methods in the excavation. We wish many friends from home and abroad to help us. We work together and do our best to protect this historical treasure. Thanks, everyone”.

Xu Weihong
Director of the archaeological team of the Xi’an Warriors
Xi’an, 19th May 2010

Statement by Zaho Rong, director general, Shaanxi Cultural Relics Bureau:

“I was honored to know that the Archaeological Project of the Terra-cotta Army of Qin Shihuang won the 2010 Prince of Asturias Prize for Social Sciences. On behalf of the Shaanxi Province Cultural Relic Bureau I want to extend my warm congratulations to the archaeological team and also a sincere thanks to the appraisal committee! Thanks to the people around the world who supporting and caring about Shaanxi cultural heritage.

The Prince of Asturias Foundation has encouraged world science technology, artistic as well as the literature development, initiative world peace has made the remarkable contribution since it has been established in 1980.

This excavation project can attain this honor, is not only the pride of the archaeologists on this project, but also the honor of archaeologists and museum staff in Shaanxi. The award item especially shows the affirmation to our cultural heritage protection work.

The Terra-cotta warriors and horses were known as the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century. There were more than ten thousand various cultural relics unearthed in the site. The discovery is important evidence of Chinese civilization as well as the human civilization. In 1987, Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum and the pits of Terra-cotta warriors and horses were listed as the World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. People from all over the world keep coming to share this grand cultural heritage. Visiting the Terra-cotta warriors and horses became very important for the people all over the world during their stay in China. Spanish Prime Minister Mr. Felipe González Márquez and King Juan Carlos visited the museum of Terra-cotta warriors and horses in 1985 and 1995 respectively. I believed that they have left behind the very happy recollection in this. In 2009, the new excavation attracted the people’s attention. Media from Japan, US, Spain, Britain and so on has carried on the report one after another to the excavation. Using the new technology and the new method, the work progress is very smooth. The fine colored pottery figurines have been excavated successfully. In order to protect the pits of Qin Shi Huang’s warriors and horses, the underground cultural treasure who has 2000 years’ history, the archaeological staffs work very hard. They are the representatives of the general archaeology workers of Shaanxi.

I hope our team will cherish this honor and make bigger progress for the people who are supporting us. At the same time, the cultural heritage belongs to the world, belongs to the universe, therefore, I also hoped to reinforce the international cooperation, devotes together to the humanity cultural heritage protection enterprise. Thank you so much”.

Zaho Rong
Director General, Shaanxi Cultural Relics Bureau
Xi’an, 19th May 2010

Statement by Jane Portal, Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia, Oceania and Africa, Boston Museum of Fine Arts:

“I am delighted that the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Qinshihuang has won the 2010 Prince of Asturias Prize. The museum is doing a great job in displaying and educating people about one of the most amazing and important archaeological sites in the world. As China takes its place as a leading country in the world both politically and economically, it is vital that more people learn about its history and culture. The First Emperor (Qinshihuang) was an incredible man who was responsible for the making of China and his tomb complex is one of the great marvels of world history. I send my congratulations to the Director of the museum and all the staff, many of whom are my friends with whom I worked closely over the British Museum's exhibition The First Emperor in 2007-8”.

Jane Portal
Matsutaro Shoriki Chair Art of Asia, Oceania and Africa
Museum of Fine Arts
Boston, 19th May 2010

Statement by Jesús Sanz, director general Casa Asia:

“On behalf of Casa Asia, I wish to express my enormous satisfaction for the conferral of the Prince of Asturias Award on the project for recovering the archaeological site of Xi’an, which houses, among other treasures, the army of terracotta warriors. The Xi’an excavations and their recovery show contemporary China’s great interest in recovering its history and the energy of a country that is alive and growing. Dr. Xu Weihong is the head of the project. Her enthusiasm and efforts, together with her archaeological expertise, have enabled the project to advance and consolidate itself and represent the energy and hopes of a country that looks to the future without forgetting its historical identity.

Jesús Sanz
Director General, Casa Asia
Barcelona, 19th May 2010

Statement by Carlos Blasco Villa, spanish ambassador to China:

“I wish to express my great satisfaction and appreciation to the Prince of Asturias Awards Jury for the conferral of this year’s Social Sciences Award on the archaeological team of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses of the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum in Xi’an, which has enabled the discovery of very important aspects of how Chinese society was formed over two thousand years ago, reaching cultural peaks that were difficult to equal at that time. I am convinced that the recognition of the work of these archaeologists and its dissemination through the conferral of the Award will be of immense help in bringing our own country and China closer together, in getting to know one another a little better, and will undoubtedly serve to strengthen friendship between two very old cultures that have coincided on a large number of occasions in different periods of their history. These cultures are kept alive by two countries that are currently building a highly fruitful relationship of respect and determination to cooperate for the sake of prosperity and universal peace and the alliance and concord of civilizations”.

Carlos Blasco Villa
Spanish Ambassador to China
Beijing, 19th May 2010

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