A New Look at Pompeii


A new exhibit entitled “Pompeii and Europe from 1748 to 1943” aims to analyze the fascination of Pompeii from the start of systematic excavations of the site in 1748, to the dramatic World War II bombings in 1943.

The exhibit, which runs through November 2, comprises two exhibition areas that display artifacts from the famed archaeological site, with 200 works from important Italian and foreign museums at the Naples Archaeological Museum, and 20 casts and previously unseen photos in the Pompeii amphitheater. Organizers call the exhibit a “true journey, grandiose and complex, in which the ancient speaks to the modern, nature and archaeology,” aiming to show how “Pompeii, with its buried ruins and its classicism have fascinated artists across Europe for the past two centuries.”

Twenty casts are exhibited in the amphitheater of the excavation site under a pyramid-shaped installation, bearing witness to the final moments of life that day in 79AD, when the city was devastated by the effects of the eruption of Vesuvius. The casts have been restored and are part of the “Stolen from Death” section curated by Massimo Osanna and Adele Lagi.

The photography show curated by Massimo Osanna, Ernesto de Carolis and Grete Stefani includes many previously unpublished shots that bear witness to the progress of the excavations between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

In Naples, the 200 works of art, including ancient finds and modern masterpieces, are exhibited in the Meridiana Hall, curated by Massimo Osanna, Maria Teresa Caracciolo and Luigi Gallo.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Special Superintendent’s Office for Pompeii, Ercolano and Stabia and the general directorate of the Grande Progetto Pompei, along with the Naples Archeological Museum. It was organized by Electa, with sponsorship from Expo Milano 2015.

“Today was another step for the rebirth of Pompeii,” Culture and Tourism Minister Dario Franceschini said during the inaugural ceremony, stressing the work done by the superintendent’s office. “Amid so much skepticism and diffidence, active work has been done with a collaborative team spirit.”

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