Life Size Terra Cotta statue gets permanent home at Reno’s Desert Research Institute campus

TheGeneralUnveiling-2013-thbTom and Mary Gallagher present DRI with a life-size replica of a Terra Cotta Warrior.
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The Desert Research Institute wants to thank the Tom and Mary Gallagher Foundation for donating “The General” to DRI’s Reno campus. This Terra Cotta Warrior is a life-size replica constructed from the same clay soil that ancient craftsman used to create Emperor Qin’s army more than 2,000 years ago. The Gallagher’s donated The General after a visit to China in the fall of 2012 to the Terra-Cotta Warrior and Horses Museum in Xi’an with DRI President, Dr. Stephen Wells. “Its support from trustee’s such as the Gallagher’s that allow DRI to continue our efforts in remaining a globally recognized institution,” Dr. Wells said. 

Upon touring the museum, the Gallagher’s got a first-hand glimpse of the extensive work and collaboration between DRI and China. Already a major supporter of the institution, they decided that donating a replica to house at the Reno location would be an opportunity to bring a piece of China’s history and DRI’s involvement back to Nevada. “The General calls attention to the terrific work being conducted by DRI scientists,” Tom Gallagher said. “I’m proud to have the opportunity to be supportive.” 

Terracotta StatueDRI Researchers, Drs. Judith Chow and John Watson have traveled to China for nearly two decades examining and studying the effects of various pollutants to the Terra Cotta Army. Revealed by Chinese peasant farmers in Xi’an in 1974, both Chow and Watson realized that the ancient statues were deteriorating as a result of air pollutants and nearly 2 million tourists visiting the museum annually. 

Ground penetrating radar has revealed that approximately 7,000 warriors, horses, and chariots exist, and about 1,000 have been excavated. This unearthing and discovery of the Terra Cotta Army has become one of China’s greatest historical treasures.