Sunday, 28 February 2016

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts brings Pompeii back to Life

Girl Attaching a Peplum Statue
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is bringing Pompeii back to life, from February 6 to September 5, 2016, in the largest exhibition ever to be presented in Quebec on this iconic Roman city. A small port on the Sarno River, Pompeii had thrived as a Roman colony for over two centuries. Its inhabitants had no recollection of Mount Vesuvius’s previous eruptions, which dated to the seventh century B.C.

On August 24, 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted, spewing a gigantic cloud of molten rock and pulverized pumice some thirty kilometres into the air. Tons of pumice, rocks and ashes rained down on Pompeii, piling up on the streets and collapsing roofs and walls.

Although the eruption had caught the inhabitants completely by surprise, most of them managed to escape. Only those who took shelter indoors were doomed. Paradoxically, the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius contributed to preserving much of Pompeii, which remained relatively undisturbed under metres of ashes for centuries.

Dog from the House of Orpheus
The Montreal presentation of Pompeii immerses visitors in the daily life of this Roman town before the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

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