The website of the historical fiction writer.

One Day, Three Exhibitions: Part One

On Saturday 18th May I went to London for a cultural tour de force. This consisted in seeing three major exhibitions in twelve hours. A mission not to be undertaken lightly. This spleen-rupturing excursion really has to be up there with other feats that push the limits of human endurance to… well to the limit, whether they be flying into space, running a marathon or eating a poorly-cooked vindaloo. Darting between one exhibit and that while giving enough time to appreciate what’s on display, reading the notes and making sure you’re viewing things in the right order is not an easy a task as it first appears.

But it’s well worth doing. A lot of hard work goes into making these exhibitions a success. Like video games, they are promoted as films with posters, trailers, blogs, even TV documentaries.

The first of the exhibitions I saw was Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum at the British Museum: http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/pompeii_and_herculaneum.aspx

Arranged like a house of someone that would have lived in one of these towns, the exhibition showed some of what was recovered after both towns were buried under heaps of molten ash. Everyday objects such as amphorae, furniture, decorations and some very suspect artwork were on display. There was also some very good animation, particularly at the beginning that explained the science behind the explosion and life in that region today.

There are also casts of some of the victims on display. This shows the human cost of a tragedy no one was expecting.

The exhibition lasts about one hour, although it might be longer with the audio guide. Well worth visiting.

Join us tomorrow for Part 2: Treasures of the Royal Court.

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