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Exhibition on invaluable Pompei and Cyclades jewels opens

Cost a million euros, 'cities suffered same volcanic fate'

10 May, 11:38

    POMPEI (NAPLES) - The 'Vanity: Stories of Jewels from the Cyclades to Pompeii' exhibition opens on Friday.
    The show is scheduled to run from 10 May to 5 August 2019 at the Great Palaestra of the excavations of Pompeii.
    It revolves around jewelry found in the Hercolaneum excavations, Pompeii, the primitive village of Longola, and other archaeological sites in the Campania region, juxtaposed with invaluable female ornamentation found on Greece's Cyclades islands: Delos, Santorini, Paros, Thera, and Despotikos.
    About 300 pieces of inestimable value have been arranged for public viewing, with figures as shadows of women wearing these jewels (images similar to those seen in the Domus Pompeii frescoes) follow the visitor from the walls and floors but are seen only at a distance and disappear when approached due to an optical effect of the pixels they are made of. ''The exhibition cost a million euros,'' said acting superintendency director Alfonsina Russo, ''and it will be open until August 5. Then the Cyclades gold will go to China and I hope to take the Pompeii ones to the Colosseum.'' Massimo Osanna curated the show when he was general director of the archaeological site, alongside Demetrios Athanasoulis, Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades. ''The inspiration for this exhibition came when in Mykonos I visited a show in the Cyclades gold, from which you could see the links between the two cultures, through the trade that occurred in the Mediterranean Sea, between the Cyclades and the mid-Tyrrhenian Sea, which led to an exchange of experiences, tastes and cultures,'' Osanna said.
    ''These were cities that suffered the same sort of catastrophe, sharing the fate of volcanic eruptions such as Pompeii and Santorini, which gave us invaluable clues to reconstruct even the social relations in such a long-ago era,'' Osanna added. Athanasoulis said that the success of the show on Mykonos was decisive in having '''transferred ancient objects to the contemporary era, how they might be worn today, creating a 'trap' for the public, which sees them as personal objects and in this way understands their historic value.''

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