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National Museum of Singapore Opens Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town 79CE

The National Museum of Singapore presents Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town 79CE, open through 23 JAN 2011. Exhibition organised by Melbourne Museum and Soprintendenza Speciale per i beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei.

In 79CE, the cosmopolitan city of Pompeii and much of its surrounding area were buried under volcanic ash and pumice following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in southern Italy. It was not until the mid-18th century that this city was slowly revealed to the world through archaeological excavations. Pompeii was a bustling and prosperous Roman town with around 20,000 inhabitants at the time of its destruction. Its strategic location, mild climate and fertile soil provided the impetus to the productive agricultural industry as well as the thriving fishing and shipping industries.

As Pompeii’s economy flourished, the city also grew culturally vibrant and people became more affluent. Over 270 objects from the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei (SANP), including jewels, frescoes, sculptures and household items, will be on display to reconstruct Pompeii. Highlights include body casts of eight victims, who were ‘immortalised’ during their last moments when Mount Vesuvius erupted, gladiators’ gear, a mosaic fountain and frescoes from the House of the Golden Bracelet.

Credits: Collection of Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei


English (from Saturday 23 Oct 2010)
Mondays to Fridays 11.30am & 2.30pm
Saturdays & Sundays 11.30am, 2.30pm, 4pm

Mandarin (from Saturday 23 Oct 2010)
Saturdays & Sundays 3.30pm

Japanese (from Tuesday 2 Nov 2010)
Tuesdays to Saturdays 1pm

Limited to 15 participants per session on a first come, first served basis.
Duration: 60 minutes | Meeting point: Entrance of Exhibition Galleries, Basement
Admission fee to exhibition applies.
Please purchase admission tickets at the Stamford Visitor Services Counter, Level 1, prior to the tour.

Guided tours are subjected to the availability of volunteer guides.

There will be no guided tours on Fri 5 Nov 2010 (Deepavali), Wed 17 Nov 2010 (Hari Raya Haji), Sun 19 Dec 2010 – Sun 2 Jan 2011. All guided tours will resume on Mon 3 Jan 2011.


Special Tours
Roman Frescoes in Pompeii
by Dr. Domenico Esposito, Lecturer and Consultant of Archaeological Superintendence of Pompeii
Wed 17 Nov & Thu 18 Nov 2010 | 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Meeting point: Exhibition Galleries, Basement
S$28 (incl handling fee) | Limited to 15 participants only

The grand and elaborate fresco paintings preserved in the houses of Pompeii that were buried under the volcanic debris for centuries, reflected not only the wealth and power of the owners of those houses; they also provided rare evidence on the lives and beliefs of society then. Dr Esposito will bring you through the exhibits in the Pompeii – Life in a Roman Town 79 CE exhibition, focussing on the functions and styles of fresco paintings, the houses they were found in and the stories behind the painted scenes and subjects depicted in the frescoes.

Dr Domenico Esposito is currently Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and is a consultant for the Archaeological Superintendence of Pompeii and for the Deutsche Archaeologisches Institute of Berlin. Dr Esposito has conducted several excavations in Pompeii , with the recent one at the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii and Villa of Papyriand the Basilica Noniana in Herculaneum from 2006 to 2009. His research and fieldwork specialites include Roman urbanism and social history, ancient architecture and reconstruction of landscape and Roman wall paintings.

Curator’s Tours
Uncovering Pompeii
by Szan Tan, Curator (Exhibitions), National Museum of Singapore
Thurs 2 Dec, 6 Jan& 13 Jan 2011 | 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Meeting point: Exhibition Galleries, Basement
S$19 (incl exhibition admission and handling fee) | Limited to 15 participants only

Buried under the hardened volcanic ash and pumice of Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79CE, little was known about the life and people of Pompeii until it was found 1, 500 years later. Join our curator, Szan Tan to rediscover Pompeii as she takes you through the rare artefacts excavated from this once lost Roman town and shares with you how the Pompeians might have lived before the sudden eruption tragically took place.

Szan Tan is a graduate from the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London. She has been a curator since 1997. Her graduate thesis was on the paintings of Singapore’s pioneer artist, Cheong Soo Pieng. She has curated the paintings section and published a catalogue for the Xiang Xue Zhuang collection of the late Singapore collector Dr Tan Tsze Chor. Szan has managed several special exhibitions at the National Museum of Singapore, including the Greek Masterpieces from the Louvre, Christian Lacroix the costumier and A Story of the Image – Old & New Masters from Antwerp.

National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road Singapore 178897

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