China’s Terracotta Warriors will be returning to the UK for an exhibition at Liverpool’s World Museum in 2018. The artefacts were last exhibited in the UK in 2007 attracting millions of visitors.

The Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport MP Karen Bradley announced the news yesterday while visiting the First Emperor’s burial site and tomb complex near Xi’an, as part of the UK-China People to People Dialogue. She highlighted the significance of the Terracotta Army in the 20th century archaeological context and the important impact the exhibition will have on the cultural exchange between China and Britain.

The last time the warriors were in the UK was in 2007, at the British Museum’s second most successful exhibition with 1.7 million people visiting the show and 850,000 the Terracotta Army. Organisers believe the show in Liverpool will be of a similar range. About 120 objects will be on display, some exhibited in the UK for the first time. The exhibition will also cover the pre-unification Qin kings and the first emperor’s legacy in the Han Dynasty, covering a span of three periods of more than 500 years.

David Fleming, director of National Museums Liverpool said that the organisers have signed a memorandum of understanding and that the show will run for six months, from February to October 2018. He added the significance the event has for the city since Liverpool has the oldest Chinese community in Europe.

The exhibition will be also a major part of Liverpool’s 2018 celebrations to mark the 10 years since the city held the title of European Capital of Culture.