A Day in Pompeii

28 November, 2007

Pompeii body casts
Pompeii body casts
Image: Benjamin Healley
Source: Museum Victoria

The Hon. John Brumby, Premier of Victoria, today announced that a major exhibition, A Day in Pompeii, will be staged at Melbourne Museum as part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series in 2009. 
To celebrate the exhibition’s announcement, visitors to Melbourne Museum will have the unique opportunity to view a body cast of two women who were among nine victims found in the garden of the House of Cryptoporticus.
The cast, which has been flown in especially from Pompeii, will be on display in Melbourne Museum’s Mind and Body Gallery for the next two months.
On August 24, A.D. 79, the Roman city of Pompeii was buried by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The pumice and thick volcanic ash that ended the lives of so many also encased the city in a virtual time capsule for the next 17 centuries. The city remained largely lost and forgotten until rediscovered by archaeologists in the early 1700s, resulting in Pompeii today being one of the most complete and intact archaeological sites in the world.

‘This exhibition is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Roman treasures from almost 2000 years ago,’ said Dr Patrick Greene, CEO, Museum Victoria.
The exhibition will be developed by Museum Victoria in partnership with the Soprintendenza archeologica di Pompeii, and will feature over 250 objects from daily life in Pompeii and surrounds, as well as a number of body casts. 
A Day in Pompeii will be on display at Melbourne Museum from 26 June to 11 October 2009.

Melbourne Winter Masterpieces is a Victorian Government initiative and is exclusive to Melbourne, Australia.
Presented in association with the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei.

Comments (56)

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youssef 16 April, 2009 02:02
i like it
lindy 28 April, 2009 02:08
I hope it comes to London. Just read Pompeii by Robert Harris really good descriptions of the volcano and roman life.
me 16 May, 2009 23:34
i wonder if its in melbourne florida or melbourne australia...cuz i liv in melbourne fl...
Vicki Seboldt 21 May, 2009 01:01
I hope it comes to Seattle, Washington State in the U.S.A. also. Pompeii and it's treasures are something that the entire world should be able to see.
Callum 22 May, 2009 10:08
I live in Melbourne Australia, and this article definitely pertains to the exhibition during it's Australian run. FYI - Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia and the capital of Victoria
Monica 3 June, 2009 12:47
I live in Melbourne and I've seen it and it is really sad:(
Brett 7 June, 2009 22:27
You seen it? It says it opens at the end of June. Did they bring it forward?
MV 9 June, 2009 10:11
A body cast from the exhibition was on display for a few months as a sneak preview. A Day in Pompeii opens on 26 June.
danielle 11 June, 2009 20:11
i love to see the preview of A DAY OF POMPEII. it sounds interesting.
antoinette 11 June, 2009 21:39
yoo my schools going to see it for history and italian hope its fun:P
me!!!!! 14 June, 2009 10:34
the exhibion on pompeii sounds verey good.i hope i can go. i need to find out some more!
corinne 16 June, 2009 07:31
i REALLY REALLY REALLY want to see this my ancient history teacher suggest i go but i dont know if i can :( i envy all who can go! joking..
maddie 18 June, 2009 20:52
there's a Melbourne in America? Wow I didn't know that. I think they mean the Australian one though because my ancient history class is going there for a trip
Michael T 21 June, 2009 01:16
Well really nice to see more experience. Hope the exhibition will show on and see how nice, just have a look in object!
Sarah 25 June, 2009 11:41
I've been intrigued with the story of Pompeii since I was 6. I live in Adelaide but am planning to make the weekend trip to Melbourne to see the exhibit. Amazing.
Martin Esposito 28 June, 2009 21:20
Dear Sir, I would love to use the excellent picture above on my personal literary blog (www.bigcitymartin.blogspot.com). Could you please advise me as to copyright? I wuld probably add some text of my own, but not directly relate dot the picture - more loike a comment. Thank you kindly, Martin Esposito
gail 30 June, 2009 07:47
I have been to the city of pompeii in Italy and amazing- I am flying into Melbourne from NZ just to see this exhibition- Its history and everyone needs to see it-
lily 1 July, 2009 17:58
i'm going to see it tomorrow. i hope it's good. the sneak peak and stuff looks really interesting.
Discovery Centre 10 July, 2009 16:14

Hi Martin, thanks for your question. Image requests involve copyright considerations and sometimes incur fees and as such are formally handled by the Discovery Centre.

You can submit a formal image request via our online enquiry service. I also suggest that you have a look at the Guidelines for Museum Victoria Images and the Museum's Rights policy.

Slash 14 July, 2009 13:53
Hooray for Pompeii! It's about time Greece got some recognition.
Hugh Jass (No really) 14 July, 2009 14:01
Looking forward to the exhibition. I will be going there soon enough on a school trip.
kay 15 July, 2009 16:24
Be sure to get there early. We flew in from Sydney and arrived at the exibition at 3 and were told they had sold out for the day despite the advertised time to close being 5????? A rather rude man didn't like being asked why and told us to book for another day. We had to fly out that evening so we were disapointed.
ningrum setya dewi 29 July, 2009 19:06
i really want to see this historical fact from pompeii civilization,but i can't,it's to far from indonesia,but i can get the meaning behind the disaster
Discovery Centre 31 July, 2009 13:35

Dear Kay,

I am sorry that you missed A Day in Pompeii.  Melbourne Museum allocates a maximum number of tickets sold to avoid over-crowding and ensure our visitors enjoy the exhibition in a comfortable and safe environment. The exhibition has been exceptionally popular since opening in late June and continues to sell out on some days. Should you choose to visit Melbourne again, we encourage you to book online via our website museumvictoria.com.au or by phone 131102.


trent 13 August, 2009 14:13
this pic is cool lol
vera 20 August, 2009 11:44
i didn't like it they needed more information than paintings and the casts where sad but they didn't disclose enough about them. all on all its a failure
mel 4 September, 2009 18:24
i was this display at the museum with school....it is very meaningfull and sad....
Alexander Teoli 21 April, 2010 04:05
Is it the actual bodies of those pour souls or just a replica?
Discovery Centre 21 April, 2010 15:58

Alexander, these are not actual bodies but casts made from the voids they left behind. There's more information about body casts at this part of the exhibition's website. Hope this helps.

jamie98 29 April, 2010 21:06
soo cool
Smart Alec 29 June, 2010 07:44
I think these "Body casts" of the people of Pompeii are very good for research. It gives you great grades of which is about the explosion of Mount Vesuvius. Did you know that Pompeii was forgotten after buried and was discovered in 1594 by workmen who were digging a tunnel? And a local town called Herculaneum was also discovered. It was buried by boiling hot lava after the volcano erupted. Many things we use in everyday life have been found in the 2 towns. Recently a library filled with scrolls! The language they spoke was latin. I do reseearch on a lot of things. I'm smart.
Kelly 29 June, 2010 07:54
I wish i knew what year Pompeii was discovered. And who discovered it. My brother would tell me if he wasn't so smart. I love researching about Pompeii. I wish I could learn more. Where are the best websites I can ask questions at?
Discovery Centre 29 June, 2010 12:51

Hi Kelly. There are quite a few great websites about Pompeii, which include information on who discovered the city and when. You might want to start with our A Day in Pompeii website link at right, based on the exhibition which we held last year. The BBC has an excellent Roman History site that includes a section on Pompeii and the British School at Rome has a great virtual tour of the city. Lots of great images of the city can be found here and more information here. These sites should all provide a lot of information and be a great start to your research.

marybeth 8 July, 2010 03:30
this is soo cool! i'm curently learning about this! it rocks!
Salma 10 July, 2010 01:00
The destruction of Pompei is described in the Holy Quran which was revealed to Muhammed PBUH over 1400 years ago! waaaaay before 1700 when archeologists discovered it. Though the exact location in Italy was not revealed.
Sandy 17 July, 2010 00:41
Since it's well over the time of exhibition at your museum, is it travelling at all? With that many objects, and going to all that work - it certainly should be seen in more places. In lieu of that, is there a catalog one might purchase? I found you on the Jackie and Bob Dunn website by the way.
Discovery Centre 20 July, 2010 15:11

Hi Sandy, the exhibition is currently at Western Australian Museum, Perth until Sunday 12 September, 2010. It then travels to the National Museum of Singapore where it will be on display Saturday 16 October, 2010 – Sunday 23 January, 2011.

The souvenir booklet is still available from the Melbourne Museum Shop and you can order a copy through them by emailing mmshop@museum.vic.gov.au

lynndee 3 September, 2010 12:18
ThIs is awesome im learnin bout this in social studies 7.
nathalie 7 September, 2010 00:49
After singapore where the exhibition go.
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Discovery Centre 7 September, 2010 13:26

Hi Nathalie, the exhbition will be heading over to the United States after it closes in Singapore.

Franco 20 September, 2010 23:48
for Salma... A few years after the event, Pliny the Young wrote a friend, Cornelius Tacitus, describing the happenings of late August 79 AD when the eruption of Vesuvius obliterated Pompeii, killed his Uncle and almost destroyed his family. At the time, Pliney was eighteen and living at his Uncle's villa in the town of Misenum.
Gina 27 October, 2010 09:03
I saw it when it came to Melbourne and it was awsome, i loved the mini film of the timeline of the eruption and I recently watched it again online... still made me jump
Stephanie 5 November, 2010 15:06
I cant wait for this to come to the united states I just recently was watching a tv show about Pompeii and am now so interested in learning more.
Tony 28 November, 2010 19:20
Hey. I'm in the exhibition now! In Singapore.. Great exhibition.. I need to know wat song did they use for the film: suburban bath 1940s excavation. Can anybody please tell me? I need to know the title and the artist name. Thank you.
Sergio 30 November, 2010 09:52
Just like what happened in Pompeii, that is what will happen to Los Angeles California but L.A. will flood underneath the ocean, when? Only God knows.
Discovery Centre 30 November, 2010 11:40
Hi Tony, great to hear that you enjoyed the exhibition.  That piece of footage is from a DVD called Diaries of Light and Dark.  The supplier was Marcellino de Baggis, marcellinodebaggis@gmail.com 


Tracy 4 December, 2010 03:23
I have had a keen interest on the happenings of Pompeii since grade school! I researched and wrote several reports through my school years! Volcanoes have always intrigued me. I hope the exhibit is nearby when it hits the US. I definitely don't want to miss such a rare opportunity!
Bryan maitre 25 January, 2011 13:27
im doing home work about this
adriana 17 February, 2011 10:24
WOW this is amazing but very sad hahahha
andile charles 24 February, 2011 22:57
wow.this is an amazing but touchy.i just can imagine how much pain the people of Pompeii went through.im not just fascinated by the picture but all the novels and stories i read about the country in large.
Dana Trudeau 6 March, 2011 13:21
I just saw the same exhibit in new york city USA. It was amazing...and included real bodies and replicas, movies,and objects of daily use....wonderful....chills up my spine!
Grace Tang 27 March, 2011 13:31
so cool when i went to see it with my class we were in grade 4. st mary's sale went there best trip ever
brodie nightingale 9 February, 2012 12:15
thats so asome
Courtney Stephens 8 March, 2012 06:50
Will this exhibit be in the NorthWest Area of USA Because I live in Seattle, Washington. Thanks :) I have always wanted to see this exhibit since i heard about this.
Discovery Centre 8 March, 2012 11:34
Hi Courtney. It seems that the US version of this exhibition is just about to open in Cincinnati. It might be best to contact the Cincinnati Museum Centre, which is holding the exhibition, to see if it is heading to the Northwest at any point.
Nerdy_Girl 12 November, 2012 09:30
I think Pompeii is quite interesting, though very sad.A tragedy uncovered.