Friday, March 15, 2013



THE British Museum will stage two unique live broadcasts to movie audiences across Britain and Ireland with a special offer to school groups as part of the museum's historic LIFE AND DEATH - POMPEII AND HERCULANEUM exhibition, which opens March 28 and runs until September 29.

Introduced by British Museum director Neil MacGregor, this unique live broadcast event will take cinema audiences round the exhibition.

Using renowned experts and live performance – music, poetry and eye-witness accounts – the production will bring to life extraordinary objects, some never seen outside Italy before.

Interviews throughout the exhibition will be intercut with stunning specially recorded films in Italy, showing Pompeii and Herculaneum and the sleeping Vesuvius.

This exhibition is the first ever held on these important cities at the British Museum, and the first such major exhibition in London for almost 40 years.

The exhibition has a unique focus, looking at the Roman home and lives of the people who lived nearly 2000 years ago in Pompeii and Herculaneum, both typical Roman towns at the heart of the empire.

The live event will take visitors along a Roman street and into a local house with atrium entrance, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, sitting room and garden.

We will be taken close up to the famous casts of the people caught in the volcanic heat as well as the objects from their daily lives.

Examples include intricate pieces of jewellery, sculpture, mosaics, cooking equipment and even food including an intact loaf of bread with the baker's stamp still on it.

Also on display will be wooden furniture carbonized by the high temperatures of the ash that engulfed Herculaneum which are extremely rare finds that would not have survived at Pompeii – showing the importance of combining evidence from the two cities.

The furniture includes a linen chest, an inlaid stool and even a garden bench. Perhaps the most astonishing and moving piece is a baby's crib.

Neil MacGregor said “Following the success of live cinema broadcasts of theatre, opera and ballet, the British Museum is thrilled to be the first museum to broadcast a live exhibition event.

"This is a unique experience for audiences across the country to enjoy a very special evening view of this unmissable exhibition, full of fascinating objects lent to us from Italy, from the comfort of a cinema chair.

"It will be a very personal tour guided by experts who will explore the stories these special objects tell us of Roman life 2000 years ago. We hope this will inspire people to travel to come and see the exhibition at the British Museum”.

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