In 1990, as an initiative of the former federal ministry for research and technology (today BMBF) and in cooperation with the Archaeological Institute of the Shaanxi province, a branch of the RGCM in Xi’an was established. Today, a provincial capital, Xi’an was the center of the empire until the 14th century and is called the “treasure room of China”.
The region became famous for the excavated terracotta army of the first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. Workshops were established within the framework of Chinese-German cooperation and promoted by the federal Ministery for Education and Research. In these joint workshops, primarily metal finds, wallpaintings, textiles and urushi-laquer are restored. Up to five German restorers permanently work on-site, while Chinese colleagues regularly travel to Mainz. Some of the large projects started so far are the following: Qin-period from the burial of the Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi (221-207 BC), Han-period (206 BC – 220 AD) wall paintings from a domed tomb near Xunyi and the Tang-period (618-907 AD) temple treasure from the Buddhist abbey Famen. In cooperation with the i3 Institute of the Mainz College of Applied Sciences, the large imperial burials of the Tang Period were first systematically measured using a satellite-supported imaging system.