Los Angeles is about to play host to some big-time Chinese VIPs.
On loan from China are 200 incredibly preserved ancient works of art from three Chinese dynasties. They will be on display at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, starting Oct. 1.
The museum is located approximately 90 miles north of San Diego. Seeing the famous pieces will take you about two hours driving time.
The exhibition is a sequel to the museum's incredibly popular Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit in 2008. It now has never-before-seen pieces. It's a collection that spans 1,000 years of Chinese history, including the Silk Road, made famous by Marco Polo.
Many of the items came from ancient Chinese tombs, which are structured like dwellings on earth, according to a news release from the museum. These tombs contain replicas of all the attendants, food, animals, and in the case of emperors, warriors and government officials, needed to ensure a prosperous and comfortable afterlife for the deceased.
The exhibition features four of the famous life-size Terra Cotta Warriors, protectors of China's First Emperor Qin Shihuangdi, whose mausoleum complex is considered the eighth wonder of the world, according to the museum.
Also on display are smaller Terra Cotta Warriors from the imperial tomb complex of the famous Han rebel-turned-emperor and from the fifth Han emperor Jingdi. According to the museum, like their larger counterparts, these warriors have individualized features and are completely outfitted for battle. Only their expressions are peaceful, reflecting that this was a less oppressive dynasty.
And while these warriors have survived for thousands of years, museum officials want to make sure they survive their visit here to earthquake country. Experts have come up with a plan to keep the collection safe in case a quake hits.
"We have ways in which we can tie things off with monofilament," said Paul Johnson, exhibit designer. "We have neoprene, clear vinyl line to hold some of the figures on top of the horses so that they can't rock."
"Warriors, Tombs and Temples: China's Enduring Legacy" opens Saturday, Oct. 1, and runs through Sunday, March 4, 2012.