There are 30 days left to the ‘unprecedented’ exhibition, ‘The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army’ currently showing at The British Museum. The exhibition comes to an end on Sunday 6th April, 2008.
Officially opened by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on 13th September last year, the exhibition has been a crowd puller with all advance tickets now sold out.
The British museum is keen to give many people a chance to see the exhibition before it closes. At least 500 tickets are made available everyday to collect in person from the museum.
People continue to queue up in their hundreds everyday for a chance to see the life size figures which date back from the 3rd century BC, in a display of unprecedented size outside China.
Every visitor can buy up to 4 tickets in person at the British Museum. As the exhibition comes to an end, queues have been forming as early as 7.30am and many people miss tickets despite being in queue for a long time.
It’s advisable to be at the museum gates by 8.00am for a chance to get the day’s tickets. People travelling from outside London have been booking overnight accommodation in London in order to be at the museum gates early in the morning.
One woman from Glasgow who missed getting tickets despite having spent a night in a London hotel said: “I have missed seeing the terracotta warriors, I can’t stay in London another night. I can’t come back to London”
Once inside the great court, museum staff will advise you if you are not likely to get tickets. However, once the day’s tickets are sold out, there may be a chance to buy advance tickets in person at the box office if one is flexible with dates.
If at 7.30am you find no one in the queue, don’t count yourself lucky yet. That’s because, occasionally, the queue forms behind the museum on Montague Road. Museum staff are always at hand to advise you.
Tickets are sold in slots and staff won’t let you into the exhibition if you miss your slot. For example, a 10.40am slot means exactly10.40am and not 10.50am.
Inside the exhibition visitors can stay as long as they wish though an hour and half is the average time most visitors will stay. The exhibition is open until midnight everyday.
There are tickets on sale on eBay. If you live far away from London or simply don’t fancy queuing up, you may find the service of an errand running company handy.
London based Errands Etc will send a runner to queue up on your behalf for two and half hours. The runner will leave your tickets at the Terracotta box office in an envelope with your surname on and ring to advise you on your slot.
Errands Etc charges £46.75+VAT to get tickets (excluding the cost of the tickets) and the runner can get up to four tickets at no extra cost. Each Terracotta ticket costs £12.00
‘We have been collecting tickets for clients since October 2008. We bank on our knowledge of the right time to queue up plus timely information updates from the museum. So far we haven’t failed to get tickets for any of our clients’ Said Linda Cardill of Errands Etc.
You will need to give them your chosen date and time of visit, surname, contact telephone and pay in advance by credit card. It’s advisable to be flexible with visiting times.
The British museum currently has on offer savings if visitors buy both Terracotta and Hadrian Empire tickets.