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Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Opens New Permanent Galleries

tories of life in Rome, Byzantium, the Near East, and Nubia vibrantly told through notable artifacts and stunning new videos

On Friday, July 1, 2011, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) opens a suite of new permanent galleries, reintroducing its visitors to the ancient civilizations of Rome, Byzantium and Nubia. Several never-before-seen objects are featured while others have been unseen by the public since previous galleries were closed in 2004 during the Renaissance ROM expansion project. To showcase these remarkable empires as never before, extensive new videos, shot on location, are featured alongside impressive artifacts in this new, dynamic space.

Located on the Museum’s Level 3 Centre Block and Philosophers’ Walk Wing, the ROM’s four new galleries comprise the Eaton Gallery of Rome, including the Bratty Exhibit of Etruria; the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Byzantium; the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Rome and the Near East; and the Galleries of Africa: Nubia.

“The ROM is pleased to bring these significant empires, which span more than 2,500 years of history from Europe, Africa, and West Asia, back to life for our visitors through notable artifacts and compelling video based on ROM research,” said Janet Carding, ROM Director and CEO. “As we explore the ancient civilisations in these stunning new galleries, we can see their lasting influence on today’s architecture, language, theatre, law, religion, and, of course, art.”

“The Government of Canada is proud to have contributed to the creation of these new galleries, which have allowed the ROM to bring ancient history to life by showcasing their hidden treasures and latest acquisitions,” said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “An investment in our history is an investment in our future. The federal government recognizes the importance in funding cultural infrastructure projects that contribute to an understanding and appreciation of arts and culture in Canada.”

Dianne Lister, newly appointed President & Executive Director of the ROM’s Governors, added, “The ROM is deeply grateful to the Government of Canada’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund for its contribution to this project. We also thank longtime volunteers and supporters Joey and Toby Tanenbaum, Thor and The Hon. Nicole Eaton, Rudolph P. Bratty and family, as well as an anonymous donor who generously supported the development of these new galleries. Their extraordinary philanthropic commitment will leave a legacy of support benefitting all Museum visitors.”

“These new galleries bring together many favourite objects, including a majestic marble bust of Co-Emperor Lucius Verus, which ROM visitors will remember from the previous spaces, now beautifully augmented by outstanding recent acquisitions such as the centrepiece of the Tanenbaum Gallery of Byzantium: an exceptionally rare ciborium (altar canopy) dated to AD 550. Visitors will enjoy rediscovering these great ancient civilizations in this stunning new environment,” said Paul Denis, Assistant Curator in the Greek and Roman section of the ROM’s World Cultures department.

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