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      Pompeii comes to Montreal

       
      By
      Mar. 4, 2016

      PompeiiLast month, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts opened a unique exhibit featuring over 220 archaeological artifacts from the ancient Italian town of Pompeii.

      Simply titled Pompeii, the exhibit offers visitors a rare glance into the splendor and modernity that was this ancient provincial town in the Roman Empire.

      Pompeii Over the course of 19 hours in 79 A.D., Pompeii, a prosperous trading centre near Naples, was blanketed by ash and lava from the nearby Vesuvius volcano. About a tenth of its population – 1,500 people – perished in the disaster. The town was completely buried and lay hidden from the world until its discovery in 1748.

      Although nothing can replace a visit to the actual archeological site, the exhibit is nonetheless a spectacular experience. It features mosaics, frescoes, bronze and marble statues, decorative art objects, utensils and personal accessories – and even a room of erotic art.

      One of the exhibit rooms, however, reminds us of the devastation that the volcano eruption left behind. A dozen or so casts of victims – created using the actual depressions that the bodies left after they were encased in ash and hardened – lie center stage in the room. They include a mother sheltering a child, a man in a fetal position, and two women clinging to each other.

      Pompeii is the largest exhibition on the ancient town ever presented in Quebec. The exhibit was previously hosted by the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

      Pompeii runs until September 5, 2016 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, located at 1380 Sherbrooke Street West in downtown Montreal.

      www.mbam.qc.ca

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