Pompeii Exhibition at the British Museum

April 5, 2013 · 8 comments

The British Museum have currently got an exhibit of items from Pompeii on and the British Museum is a lot closer than Naples! So I jumped at the chance to buy some tickets (mine was £15 and Miss L was free).  They are going quickly apparently so if you want to go, get some tickets while you can they are on the British Museum online shop.

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Now I don’t think I’ve ever been to the British Museum before, if I had been I was very little and although somethings seemed vaguely familiar it was hard to tell if it was because I’d been there or seen them in books over the years?  Miss L was thrilled with the place though and it is VAST! We did a tiny amount of the museum before we went into the exhibit and then some after but we barely scratched the surface. We now plan to go back in our November half term when there will be less people there so we can explore properly.

If you are planning to go to the Pompeii exhibit make sure you get there at your allotted time, there will be a queue and it will be packed.  The show itself is broken up into the Community, Home, all the rooms of the home and then the eruption and death and you can see items from each area and there are a couple of films too.  I think you can take as long as you like to go round it and we did it comfortably in about 45 minutes without rushing.

I’ve always wanted to visit Pompeii, but never gotten around to it. I always think it must be a bit like visiting the Titanic?  It’s always seemed to me to be one of those ghostly places locked in time.  It’s a bit morbid, but nice they are still remembered, if you know what I mean?  You’re not allowed to take photos in there so I don’t have any to show you.

What struck me most of all was the modernity of the items.  They items are 2,000 years old but a lot of them you would have lying around your own home.. The everyday detritus you have lying about  your home, was what they did too: a rocking crib, a clothes chest, pictures of loved one, glasses for drinks, even window panes which were used almost like conservatories were still almost intact.  One thing which utterly fascinated me was in the bedroom section was a beautiful silver hand mirror. It looked like it could have been Victorian, it had elegant engraving on the handle it was round and just lacking the glass of the mirror.

When you get to the end of the exhibit there are some bodies which are plaster casts or a resin cast of the victims. Miss L chose not to look, which was fine. I’m an old softie and I found them quite upsetting.  At the very end there’s a whole family who died together mother, father and two children and I think pretty much everyone who was standing around me had a silent tear for them.

If you get the chance go I’d throughly recommend it, it’s a wonderful exhibition and well worth a visit.

 

 

 

 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie April 5, 2013 at 10:17 am

Number 1 daughter turns 8 soon, and has asked for a day in London as her birthday treat, so I’m noting all exhibitions etc at the moment – really useful, thank you!
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Liz April 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Glad it helped :) x
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Damson Lane April 5, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I hadn’t heard about this exhibition – it sounds fab. We went to see the Teracotta Army at the BM a few years ago and it was amazing. If you ever want to go to the BM again I thoroughly recommend doing the British Museum Walking Tour with London Walks. It starts at Holborn tube station and takes you to all the main exhibits throughout the whole museum. As you said it is a massive museum and it can be daunting as there is so much to see so the walking tour is a good option, especially if you have older children.
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Liz April 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm

That’s wonderful to know, thank you so much. We’ll have to do that when we go back. I think that’ll be much nicer than wandering about. Thanks!
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Marianne April 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Sounds like an interesting exhibition!
Have a nice weekend!
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Liz April 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Hope you had a nice weekend too x
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Graeme April 11, 2013 at 4:29 am

How long does it take to get round the exhibition without rushing? Is 2 hours enough? Thanks!

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Liz April 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Hi Graham,
2 hours would be perfect because its really busy and you have to wait to get to the front of some of the exhibits. Have a great time!
Liz

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