DRI News & Communications

Chinese Terra Cotta Warrior unveiled at Reno's Desert Research Institute

New instillation open for public viewing, will serve as reminder of research collaboration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 8, 2013

TheGeneralUnveiling-2013-smlDr. Stephen G. Wells, DRI President, and air quality expert Dr. Judith Chow thank Tom and Mary Kay Gallagher for donating a replica Terra Cotta Warrior to DRI.(RENO) - In 2005 scientists from Reno's Desert Research Institute launched a joint research project with Chinese researchers to analyze indoor air pollutants and create sustainable practices to preserve China's ancient Terra Cotta Army from the impacts of air pollution, humidity and tourism.

Dr. Stephen G. Wells, DRI President, and air quality expert Dr. Judith Chow thank Tom and Mary Kay Gallagher for donating a replica Terra Cotta Warrior to DRI. 

This morning an instillation showcasing the results of DRI's work and featuring a life-size statue of a Terra Cotta General was unveiled in the lobby of DRI's Reno campus by Dr. Stephen Wells, DRI President, Drs. Judith Chow and John Watson, internationally known air quality experts in DRI's Division of Atmospheric Sciences, and Tom and Mary Kay Gallagher, long-time DRI supporters. Mr. Gallagher is also a former Trustee and currently serves a Fellow on DRI's Research Foundation.

"This exhibit calls attention to DRI's international impact and its great working relationships with similar institutions in China," said Tom Gallagher. "It tells a tremendous story and highlights DRI's involvement in helping to solve the incredible environmental challenges facing China and the rest of the world."

"The General," replica statue stands nearly seven-feet tall, weighs over 300 pounds and was constructed from the same clay soil that ancient craftsman used to create Emperor Qin's army more than 2,000 years ago. It was donated to DRI by the Gallaghers, who purchased the replica from Emperor Qin's Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum outside Xi'an, China during a visit last fall with Dr. Wells that coincided with Governor Brian Sandoval's trade mission to China.

"There's a metaphor for this story and this generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher," Dr. Chow explained. "DRI researchers have and continue to create great things for their constituents - the people of Nevada, the U.S. and the world. We can't do this, however, without the continued sponsorship of these constituents, through their encouragement of government allocations for research and innovation, and through their direct contributions to scholarships and endowments."

Drs. Chow and Watson, who have collaborated with Chinese scientists for more than a decade on air quality issues and have generated a steady stream of Chinese graduate research students to DRI's Reno and Las Vegas campuses, plan to continue their efforts in restoring the ancient relics in Xi'an and lead additional efforts in atmospheric research throughout China.

Video b-roll of this morning's event and DRI's work on the Terra Cotta Army is available upon request.

300dpi-Dr-Watson-and-Dr-Chow-assembling-a-pollution-sampler-thbDr. Watson and Dr. Chow assembling a pollution sampler. terra-cotta-warrior-molding-thbThe result of thirty years of exposure. judy-chow-and-warrior-thbDr. Chow was key in leading the efforts in measuring pollutant exposure levels.

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