An exhibition testifying to the many cultures that have left their mark on the ancient city of Pompeii from its foundation to its destruction in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 opens in the Large Gymnasium.
‘Pompei e i Greci‘ (Pompeii and the Greeks), running until October 31, explores the stratification of and sometimes contradictory relationship between the cultures of the ancient Italic peoples, Etruscans, Greeks and Romans that traversed its history. “The exhibition narrates the history of the ancient Mediterranean to show that this basin was a place of mobility, meetings and trade and to reflect on the phenomenon of contemporary emigration,” said Pompeii Superintendent Massimo Osanna, who has curated the exhibition together with Carlo Rescigno of Campania’s Luigi Vanvitelli University.
The exhibits, coming from leading Italian and European museums, are displayed in 13 themed sections exploring places and monuments of the ancient city. The outfitting is the work of minimalist architect Bernard Tschumi, who designed the display at the Museum of Athens.
In total 600 artefacts — ceramics, ornaments, weapons, architectural elements, sculptures, inscriptions, items of silver — are on display. The exhibition also includes three multimedia installations with wall projections, including one representing the 474 BC sea battle of Cumae.
Specially trained guides will accompany visitors around the exhibition in the absence of detailed written explanations. The most interesting pieces on display include the Aphrodite Sosandra from Baiae, testifying to the Greek taste in the patrician villas; the inscriptions in Greek and Latin from Moregine, which show how two spoken languages were used in trade; and an original Greek hydria dating from the fifth century BC excavated in the House of Julius Polybiusin Pompeii. The artefacts together show that the city of Pompeii was “international in style and decoration, which reveal a global language,” Professor Rescigno explained.