Thursday 13 May 2010

Pompeii's erotic bath paintings lit up

The famous erotic wall paintings in Pompeii's suburban baths will be spotlighted in a special nighttime 'sound-and-light' show this weekend.
The show, dubbed Venus At The Baths, aims to give visitors "their best view yet" of the explicit pictures which some experts believe were advertisements of the services on offer at the baths, organisers said.
The 16 paintings, some showing group and oral sex, have no equivalent at any other ancient Roman bath site and they have fuelled lively debate since they were discovered 50 years ago.
Some say they were simply a celebration of the joys of life typical of the earthy city by the sea destroyed by a catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Others think they were merely a way of reminding bathers which locker they put their clothes in.
The paintings have been viewable since 2001, for small groups only, but a recent restructuring has made it possible for bigger groups to be accommodated, organisers said.
These new visits, for adults only and through reservations, are set to become a "regular feature" of the site's summer attractions, they said.
Erotic art is also to be found in several of Pompeii's villas while some of the naughty pictures at the city's many brothels are just as titillating as those at the baths but judged of lesser artistic and historical merit.

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