Friday, October 16, 2009
^ Went to the Pompeii exhibition today and wore impractical shoes again, just like I did with the Dali exhibition. You know, I had thought, "Oh, it's impossible that I'll be lining up for an hour to wait to get into the exhibition!"
We couldn't get in to see it until an hour after we got to the museum.
So we took the opportunity to look around the rest of the museum, which was surprisingly small and had surprisingly little. Maybe I've just been spoilt after seeing a couple of museums in Berlin that you could get lost in?
That aside, they did have a gorgeous small display dedicated to stones (photo below). That was my absolute favourite thing there. Although the bug exhibit was pretty awesome too. Even though it had a number of ENORMOUS live spiders. Have made a mental note to never go to Sri Lanka based on the size of one of those spiders alone.
The Pompeii exhibition was crowded, but the artefacts were amazing. I fell in love with a fountain fixture that was shaped into the bust of a satyr and wanted to bring it home to install in the bathroom. It was so intricate and beautiful. There were also some small god and goddess statues that were just amazing. They also had alabaster cremation jars, marble tables and a beautiful double lamp stand.
I was surprised to find out more information about what actually went on when Mt Vesuvius exploded and that it wasn't really a sudden thing. There had been earth tremors in the days following up to it and there were quite a few hours between the first erruption and things going to absolute bollocks. Apparently, all but 2000 of the town's 10,000 to 12,000 inhabitants left the area.
However, there were the people who died.
And what a horrible death it must have been.
There were a number of casts of people and animals who had died because of the erruption and been buried in the ash. I got about half-way around that display before a lump appeared in my throat and I couldn't help crying a little (thank God it was dark in the room). I don't know why, but it made me think of Black Saturday and when I closed my eyes, I had images of some of the burned-out cars and homes turn up so vividly in my mind's eye. Couldn't help thinking about the people who died that day and how there was no warning.
I know I was incredibly lucky to live in a town that survived the fires, even though they got pretty close in the end. There were those surreal days where my town was on the front cover of newspapers because they didn't expect it to be there by the end of those particular days. So as much as life has gone on, I don't think I've really gotten over all of the Black Saturday stuff totally. It was a nightmarish time and yet I feel really selfish saying that because compared to so many other people, things ultimately ended up being okay for me and my town. It wasn't the case for so, so many others, including some friends of friends, the neighbour's parents' neighbours, a family I interviewed...
Some pictures of pretty things: