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Eye-witness report of The last hours of Herculaneum
Normal-mortals who wants to be known for future generations should move in the neighbourhood of the Vesuvius as soon as possible, because its next eruption is expected as a plinian one. Plinian means in its consequence that it will come to similar dimensioned burying as the unfled inhabitants of Herculaneum and Pompeii had to experience. Some of them tour now - scarcely 2,000 years later - as bony nameless through German museums and give their viewers a feeling for what it means to be cooked out of life by a heat-shock of 400 Celsius.

But such cadaveral unknownness can be avoided in the future, if I carry my id in the proximity of the Vesuvius always with me - as well as metallically, on stone, wooden and on paper. Because, whom gets modelled pyroclasticly by the THERMinator Vesuv, those remains remain identifiable and will be excavated guaranteely one day - may then make a tour through the museums of the world - thus at least future generations will know your name.

One of the historical problems is that even the ones, who could flee of the Vesuvian foam, don't live anymore - and can not explain more about the identity of the killed ones, thus also the heritable allocation of the entire property is toilsome up to impossible, so the entire treasure in form of a 4,000 inhabitants counting city fell right into the Italian state.

And its today responsible institutions for those values were brought together with German museums by the Germanists, culture historian and publisher of best Vesuvian belles-lettres Dieter Richter - we could do an interview with him, which will be published here soon. The collaboration synthesizes magmaticly an exhibition never shown outside of Italy, named "The last hours of Herculaneum".

It is not an exhibition only for friends of archaeology and volcanology, it is a must for culture-interested and makers of all disciplines and ages.

No lining up of average antiques is represented, but an inspiring meeting with the ambivalence of volcano-human relation is made explorable. "Much mischief happened in the world, but little, which would have brought the descendants so much joy" was said by Goethe when he met the finds of Herculaneum.

What was released from the layers of Campania is more than a conventional antique time certification, it is world-wide the only "simultaneousness certification" of domestic, business and cultural equipments, activities and participants of a whole town. From its completely daily ongoings, any coincidental moment, the Vesuvius had synchronised the Herculanei Monument - which is vulcanized impressively to a sensual and meaningful edification. It will last until the eruption of the first day of the year 2006 in the Pergamonmuseum of Berlin.

Wander through the conserved atmospheres of the antique city Herculaneum on 27th of August 79 after Christ. Flow into this exhibition, before the Vesuvius does it again. Exhibition runs from 22nd of September 2005 until 1st of January 2006 in the antiquity collection in the Pergamonmuseum of the Museumsinsel Berlin. Detailed information:

author: Karawahn
translation: Kerstin Quitsch

group of marble-sculptures from the Casa dei Cervi, the House of the Deers in Herculaneum: Deer resulted by hounds.
Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei, Antiquario di Ercolano

wall-painting from the 'Basilica', the Augusteum of Herculaneum: The wise Kentaur Chiron educates Achill in playing the Kithara.
Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei, Antiquario di Ercolano
Foto: Luciano Pedicini, Neapel

group of marble-sculptures from the large garden-peristyl of the Villa dei Papiri by Herculaneum: Pan and Goat.
Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Caserta, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.
Foto: Luciano Pedicini, Neapel



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