Around mid-morning on August 24, 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted. Molten rock and pumice were expelled from the volcano at a rate of 1.5 million tons per second. Rocks and volcanic ash filled the atmosphere, turning day into night. Within 24 hours, the Roman city of Pompeii lay destroyed – and perfectly preserved – under 15 feet of ash and volcanic debris. Now come experience both the splendor of Ancient Rome when Pompeii bustled as a commercial port and strategic military and trading city and the horror and aftermath of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum’s all new exhibition,Pompeii.
“This extraordinary exhibition takes you back in time to vividly experience what it was like to live in Pompeii over 2,000 years ago,” said John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. “Through the use of authentic artifacts, visitors to the Reagan Library will encounter life in the bustling city of Pompeii before time stopped, and then, through the use of a 4-D Eruption Theater, will feel the gravity of thousands of deaths, frozen in time.”
Opening on October 6, 2018, Pompeii features over 150 authentic artifacts on loan from the renowned Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy. These are not replicas, but rather original, 2,000-year-old objects that were preserved in the ash. These artifacts include wall-sized frescos, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, ancient Roman coins, and full body casts of the volcano’s victims. The exhibit will run through April 21, 2019.
These artifacts, set in scenic depictions of their original surroundings, tell the tale of the bustling city of Pompeii, hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery over 250 years ago. The catastrophic power of volcanoes is also illustrated through an immersive 4-D CGI experience of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The impact and devastation are evidenced by full body casts (plaster casts made from the hollows left in the ash that hardened around the now disintegrated bodies of the victims, found upon excavation), eerily preserved in their final moments.
Highlights of the exhibition include:
Introductory theater where the scene is set in a video with dramatic reconstructions that describes Pompeii and the nearby Highlights of the exhibition include: volcano.
Visitors are then transported back in time to 79 A.D. and find themselves in a reproduced atrium from a Roman villa, where they will embark on a journey through the ancient city.
Through the use of projections, audio, video, photographic murals, and graphic reproductions of frescoes and mosaics, visitors will experience different locations that existed in the city, including a market, a temple, theater, and baths.
Over 150 authentic artifacts will help bring the story of Pompeii to life. These remarkable objects include: mosaics and frescoes, gladiator helmets, armor, and weapons, a ship’s anchor, lamps, jugs, cups, plates, pots and pans and other household objects and furniture, jewelry, medical instruments, and tools.
A 4D Eruption Theater will allow visitors to experience the impact Mount Vesuvius had on this ancient city.
The culminating experience of the exhibit is a room with body casts of human forms forever frozen in time.
This not-to-be-missed exhibition is thrilling for adults and appropriate for the whole family. For more information and to pre-purchase tickets, visit www.reaganlibrary.com/pompeii.
The Reagan Library is located at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley, California. Public hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Museum is only closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day. For Museum Admission fees, visit www.reaganlibrary.com. As large crowds are expected to view the exhibition, pre-purchased timed-entry tickets are recommended by visiting www.reaganlibrary.com/tickets.
For more information, call (800) 410.8354 or visit www.reaganlibrary.com/pompeii.