Comment News (Armadale) - - Opinion -

THEY have sur­vived a vol­canic erup­tion, the oblit­er­a­tion of a city and al­most a thou­sand years un­der­ground, but now some of Pom­peii’s most prized artefacts are in Fre­man­tle for a new ex­hi­bi­tion.

Many know the plight of the Pom­peii res­i­dents who suc­cumbed to the lava, ash and gas spew­ing from Mt Ve­su­vius, but few have heard of the Ro­man navy’s at­tempts to save them.

WA Mu­seum chief ex­ec­u­tive Alec Coles said this story would be brought to life in the new ex­hi­bi­tion Es­cape from Pom­peii: the un­told Ro­man res­cue.

“This ex­hi­bi­tion of­fers new in­sight into the Pom­peii tragedy by fo­cus­ing on the story of the Ro­man navy’s dra­matic res­cue at­tempt, or­der­ing ships into the heart of the dan­ger when ev­ery­one else was flee­ing,” he said.

“I’m sure that many peo­ple are aware of the erup­tion but I think few would know about the Ro­man navy’s at­tempt to res­cue vic­tims stranded at the foot of the vol­cano.

“The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures rare artefacts from Pom­peii, Her­cu­la­neum and the Bay of Naples and in­cludes pre­cious gold and jew­ellery, ev­ery­day house­hold ob­jects and, of course, most haunt­ing of all, repli­cas of the body casts of vic­tims of the erup­tion, cap­tur­ing their fi­nal liv­ing mo­ments.”

Es­cape from Pom­peii: the un­told Ro­man res­cue is at the Mar­itime Mu­seum in Fre­man­tle un­til Fe­bru­ary.

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