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Pompeii | Current exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

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HISTORICAL CONTEXT

A small fluvial 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 back 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.

Même si l’éruption prend les habitants au dépourvu, la plupart réussissent à s’enfuir. Seuls ceux qui s’étaient réfugiés à l’intérieur connaissent une fin terrible. Paradoxalement, l’éruption dévastatrice du Vésuve a permis de préserver durant des siècles, sous des mètres de cendres, la plus grande partie de la ville.

OVERVIEW OF THE EXHIBITION

The Montreal presentation of Pompeii is a unique multisensorial experience that immerses visitors in the daily life of this Roman town before the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79 A.D. This original exhibition design incorporates archaeological artifacts from Pompeii within the market place, the home and garden, environments that have been re-created using state-of-the-art visual effects and soundscapes. The exhibition culminates with a multimedia re-creation of the volcanic eruption that buried Pompeii under metres of ash for centuries.

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From February 6 to September 5, 2016, see all the details.