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Artworks from Naples national archaeological museum to go on tour in the United States
Statua di Caligola, I sec. d.C. marmo, h 215 cm.

NAPLES.- Naples national archaeological museum continues his international cultural policy by signing a cooperation agreement with the American company Exhibitions International.

The project “Pompeii. The Exhibition” will bring the show on tour to the United States and the extraordinary richness and quality of the artworks stored in the museum’s deposits, will allow this project to reach a double goal: the museum will keep his permanent collection intact and at the same time it will be able to fulfill the huge demand, coming from all over the world, for its archaeological artifacts that tell the story of the Vesuvian cities.

This strategy is going to strengthen and consolidate the image of the Museum overseas, with significant positive implications for international tourism in Naples. MANN’s visitors will find at the ground floor of the Museum a section dedicated to “MANN in the World”: an interactive map will retrace all the exhibitions around the world that involve the Museum’s collection.

The MANN is certainly the essence of Pompeii and its important and vast collection of vesuvian antiquities shows it. But the MANN is much more that, and several are the projects that it aims to develop abroad. It is the museum of the capital of the kingdom of the Bourbons, the place where all the attention to western values of classical culture begins. The Museum includes an incredible patrimony: the world’s most important collection of classical sculpture, brought to Naples by the Farnese family and representing the evolution of western sculpture; MANN is the gate of the Italian culture and of Ancient Greece thanks to the discoveries made in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies; it has the second largest Egyptian section - after the one in Turin - with the peculiarity of having a lot of objects that appeared in Italy before the Napoleonic expedition, where you can discover the taste of the pre-Napoleon's Egyptian culture.

MANN boasts the richest and most valuable collection of artworks and artifacts of archaeological interest in Italy. Considered one of the most important archaeological museum in the world, if not the most important concerning Pompeii’s history, the MANN is among the few institutions in Italy that can support such a large and steady loan policy, thanks to the quality and quantity of artworks of extraordinary value that are preserved in its storage spaces. The Director Paolo Giulierini emphasizes “Naples represents the only case in Italy of a Museum that is able to produce exhibitions abroad without decreasing its offer, this is its innovation. The MANN in the World project will allow us to convert the MANN into a widespread musem”.

Between 2013 -2015 MANN has realized a touring exhibition named “Pompeii. The Exhibition” with the support of the old Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei. Visitors’ figures among the three cities involved at that time confirmed the success of the operation: Philadelphia, Franklin Institute (five months of exhibition, 204.401 visitors), Los Angeles, California Science Center (eight months of exhibition 298.830 visitors) and Seattle, Pacific Science Center (three months of exhibition 180.340 visitors).

Following the great success of the past experience, MANN’s Director Paolo Giulierini signs an agreement with John Norman, President of Exhibitions International, to present a grand tour in the United States starting from November 2016 until May 2018. The venues involved this time will be Kansas City, Union Station, Phoenix where the exhibition will be hosted at the Museum of Science and Industry from June to October 2017 and Tampa, at the Museum of Science and Industry, from November 2017 until May 2018. The innovation of the “Pompeii. The Exhibition” new project is that it will show for the first time an inestimable group of frescoes and sculptures discovered in the Domus of the Cytharist, one of the most complex Pompeian villas.

Discovered in 1853 together with the statue of Apollo with cithara, the domus was the residence of the Popidii, one of the most ancient and prestigious families in Pompeii, where the biggest paintings of Pompeii, bronze and marble sculptures of considerable value were found, along with a rich example outdoor furniture that proves even more the social status and wealth of the owners.

All these aspects are more evident in the objects of everyday life that describe how life was in the vesuvian cities; examples are the little marble altar and the extremely rare statuette of Genius made of silvery terracotta, gold rings, lamps – lent for the first time – wares and cooking pans.

Pompeii, the Exhibition tells the tale of this city, hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery 250 years ago. The sudden disaster that destroyed it also preserved it and over time archaeologists have uncovered a unique record of its daily life — roads, buildings, municipal services, paintings, mosaics, artifacts, and even preserved bodies. Ongoing excavations at the site provide an ever-evolving picture of everyday life at the height of the Roman Empire.

As visitors walk through the exhibition, they will travel back in time to that fateful morning of the eruption. In a media-rich, object-based, immersive experience, they will learn how Pompeii was a bustling commercial port and strategic military and trading center, and that its neighbor Herculaneum, also buried by Vesuvius, was an exclusive Mediterranean resort. Artifacts – including frescoes, mosaics, and statues from the sites – will recreate a sense of this world as visitors discover how its people lived, loved, worked, worshipped, and found entertainment. Visitors will meet residents of Pompeii and their stories will help unravel the complexity of Roman society, religion, and explain engineering and technical innovations. These stories will describe a world in which Roman citizens, freemen, and slaves led interconnected and interdependent lives. Finally, Pompeii, the Exhibition will re-enter the present to pose the question: how prepared are we now for natural disasters on this scale?

In an introductory theater, the scene is set in a video with dramatic reconstructions that describes Pompeii and the nearby volcano. As it finishes, the screen will rise slowly, and heavy doors attached to Roman columns will swing back to reveal the forum, the vibrant center of Pompeian public life. Visitors enter through the doors to embark on a journey through the ancient city. Through the use of projections, audio, video, photographic murals, and graphic reproductions of frescoes and mosaics, they will experience different locations that existed in the city, including a market, a temple, law courts, a theater, a gym and baths, a brothel, a 20,000-capacity amphitheater, and a reproduced atrium from a Roman villa. Objects on loan from the unparalleled collection of the Naples National Archaeological Museum will bring these locations to life.

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