Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Luxus und dekadenz. Römisches Leben am Golf von Neapel

On 7th February 2009 the exhibition Luxus und Dekadenz was inaugurated at the Archäologische Staatssammlung, Munich, and will run until 30th August 2009. The exhibition has actually been touring Germany (with a planned stop in Holland) since July 2007. There is an Italian news article about it, claiming that – despite promises to the contrary – the exhibition will NOT be seen in Italy due to lack of sponsorship. Instead it may be on its way to Japan.

One of the features of the exhibition, organized by the Soprintendenza ai Beni Archeologici di Napoli and the Roemer Museum di Haltern, is the number of objects taken directly from the storerooms of the Naples Museum (i.e. things not normally on display in the museum). The display includes jewellery, tablewares, frescos, garden statuary and gladiatorial equipment, and a range of other objects. Many were restored specially for the exhibition. But the most stunning exhibit is the reconstruction of the famous caldarium of the Pisanella Villa of Boscoreale. Excavated at the end of the 19th century, the caldarium was dismantled and transported to the Naples Museum, where it was reconstructed under the direction of Amedeo Maiuri in 1932. Thus it is one of the best preserved Roman private bath complexes in existence (and restored in preparation for the Luxus und Dekadenz exhibition), yet has rarely been seen by the public.

1 comment:

Rick Jones said...

Good to hear the latest on this exhibit. I haven't seen it yet but maybe I can catch it before it goes to Japan. In January I did see the 'Pompeii and the Roman Villa' exhibition in Washington. I saw it after hearing at the AIA in Philadelphia about the new work on the Stabiae villas. We also have the continuing interest in the Villa of the Papyri.

It makes me wonder what is behind this trend of renewed focus on luxury and the super-rich. Is it a sign of the times? and will it survive the recession?

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