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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Pompeii Exhibition (4th December 2010)

"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past." - William Faulkner

***

This post contains pictures (with little commentary) from the Pompeii Exhibition, which I visited yesterday with Temptation Chris, Lynnette and Brandon.

You can also read view my 2006 travelogues (with most pictures still working) of Pompeii and the Naples Archaeological Museum (where the best and most unique stuff from Pompeii is).


Since the last of us came at 3:30pm, we decided to go for the 4pm tour.

We (or at least I) passed the time spotting errors in the exhibition material. The timeline claimed that Constantinople was founded in 340 CE. FAIL! It also said that by 141 BCE, Rome was controlling Gaul. FAIL!

It was also obvious which material came from Italy/Australia and which material had a local origin. Take the line: "The early settlers are agricultural in occupation". This was obviously a translation of the parallel Chinese line: "早期居民以务农为主". Chinese's not having the definite article "the" was also obvious, as many lines were in the form: "Romans did X" instead of "The Romans did X".

When it came to the tour, there were 2 guides. The first said that Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus, and that Augustus was crowned in 27 BC. FAIL FAIL FAIL! I immediately plumped for the second guide, who thankfully didn't make such egregious errors (the only notable one was calling the strigil a "sickle", which conjured up a very unfortunate image).


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Plaster copy of a relief panel depicting the earthquake of 62 CE
"The original marble relief was stolen in 1975"

The exhibition had resin casts of the original plaster casts (when people or animals died, a space was left when their bodies rotted away, and archaeologists pumped in liquid Plaster of Paris to create plaster casts).

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Resin cast of plaster cast of a pig.

I was reflecting on authenticity - is a cast of a cast necessarily less authentic than the "original" cast? Are Rodin's Bronzes less "authentic" because they were semi-mass produced?

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In any case, when I was in Pompeii the casts were in glass containers, whereas here the resin cats were closer to visitors and there was nothing obstructing our view.

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Resin cast of a guard dog

We were told that according to a medical professional, the falling ash (at a temperature of 500 degrees celsius) would have induced death within 2 seconds, so their deaths were painless. This was new to me, and given the pathos of the death poses, I had my doubts.

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Resin cast of a young couple, resin cast of a young woman

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Mosaic fountain

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Fresco of garden

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Fresco of Bacchus and Ariadne

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Bronze statue of Bacchus

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Marble Herm (Bacchus in his youthful and mature aspects)

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Marble statue of Venus

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Marble fountain of eagle with a serpent, Statue of dog mauling bird, Marble statue of lion eating fallen prey, Marble statue of hound attacking a wild boar

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Frescoes depicting: Hippolytus and Phaedra, a medallion with a young and old woman, Silenus and a maenad

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Bronze lamp stand

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Bronze statuette of Minerva, Apollo, Mercury, Diana, Hercules, Harpocrates, Lares

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Bronze replica of Fortuna on her throne

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Various burial objects

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Glass, alabaster cremation urns

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Bronze hand of Sabazius

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Lead and bronze water pipe, spout and tap

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Bronze gladiator armour and shield. IIRC all this was ceremonial as it was too heavy to fight in

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Bronze gladiator's helmet

At the end, there was a movie showing how Pompeii was buried by debris. It was, as is the rage these days, in 3D. However, it wasn't very well done. Since bad 3D is worse than 2D, I got a headache from watching the video.

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My Gladiator companion, who was evidence that there were more adults than kids at the art & craft, make-your-own-gladiator-helmet area.


Bonus: Dodgy Signs in Peace Centre

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"Lava Spa". Where rooms come with attached showers.

According to Sammyboy:

"Porsche
Ipho, Malaysian
Face: 7.5
Boobs: 6.5/10 (B Cup (,) (,) )
HJ: N.A
BBBJ: 9 Good effort
FJ: 9/10

Attitude: friendly girl
Damage: $50 + $120
RTF: Yes

Bros, kindly up my pts if you like my FR"

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Thai Monks giving out blessings and telling fortunes (including solving business problems). Something seems very wrong about this.
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