Pompeii Live from the British Museum

– Posted on Friday 24th May 2013

Pompeii Live, the first live cinema event produced by a museum, is coming to the Isle of Man.  Introduced by British Museum director Neil MacGregor, this unique live broadcast event will take place on Tuesday 18 June 2013 at the Manx Museum and will take audiences around the major exhibition ‘Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum’ in the company of renowned experts and practitioners who, alongside live performance – music, poetry and eye-witness accounts – 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 which erupted in AD 79, burying two cities in the Bay of Naples. Preserved under ash, the cities lay buried for just over 1,600 years, their rediscovery providing an unparalleled glimpse into the daily life of the Roman Empire.

Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage said:

“Manx National Heritage is delighted to partner the British Museum on this fascinating project which will take you to the heart of people’s lives in Pompeii and Herculaneum from the bustling street to the intimate spaces of a Roman home. This is very much a one-off experience and something not to be missed”.

The live cinema event is Manx National Heritage’s latest collaboration with the British Museum, with previous work including the loan of the Lewis Chessmen and participation in the BBC History of the World Project.

‘Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum’ is the first ever exhibition 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 broadcast event will take visitors along a Roman street and into a local house with atrium entrance, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, sitting room and garden. In the company of experts such as the curator of the exhibition Paul Roberts; Professor of Classics at Cambridge University, Mary Beard; historian Bettany Hughes; as well as interviewees such as chef Giorgio Locatelli and gardener Rachel de Thame, audiences 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.

The premiere will be followed with a live broadcast for schools at the Manx Museum on 19 June aimed at Key Stage 2 and 3 in which Island schools will join schools from all over the UK for a fun, interactive show which will enhance cross curriculum learning.

All school spaces are fully booked, with tickets now only available for the live event, which takes place on Tuesday 18 June at the Manx Museum. Doors open at 6.30pm for 7pm start.

This exclusive event is strictly limited to 196 tickets, available now priced at £12.50 from the Manx Museum Shop and


Image Caption: A street in Pompeii. © Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei.

For further information, please contact: Lynsey Radcliffe, Heritage Communications Manager, Manx National Heritage Tel: 01624 648000 Email:

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