Explore the story of Pompeii at the Science Museum of Virginia

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — This summer, you can visit the ancient Roman ruins of Pompeii without ever leaving Richmond. 

The North American premiere of “Pompeii: The Immortal City” opens at the Science Museum of Virginia June 8 and runs through September 3. The Italian city was devastated by a volcanic eruption in 79 A.D.

According to the museum, “this touring exhibition plunges guests into the heart of the drama and the ruins of the city, but does so through the lens of science.”

Visitors will get to see more than 100 items unearthed from the petrified city during archaeological excavations, including a large number on display for the first time in the United States. There will be details about Pompeii’s residents, including architects, craftsmen, artisans, engineers and more. An immersive projection simulates the eruption of Vesuvius and its destruction. Then, at the end of the exhibition, guests can view two body casts created from some of the nearly 1,150 body imprint outlines unearthed since formal Pompeii excavations began in the 18th century.

“Sometimes there is a tendency to think that people living thousands of years ago weren’t technologically advanced or didn’t have a robust level of scientific understanding,” said Richard Conti, chief wonder officer. “This exhibition shows us that is not the case. It will leave guests in awe of Pompeian accomplishments.”

During the exhibition’s run, the Science Museum will feature special activities, public presentations and other demonstrations to help guests experience STEM concepts Pompeians applied in everyday life. “Volcanoes: The Fires of Creation” will also be playing in the Dome every day starting June 1. 

“Pompeii is more than a city destroyed by a volcano—it is a reminder of the power of human curiosity and innovation,” Conti said. “The eruption was only a small part of the fascinating and impressive Pompeii story. Guests will be surprised at how much this exhibition celebrates STEM. It will serve as another reminder that science is all around us, sometimes in surprising ways.”

During regular Museum operating hours (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week), guests can buy a combination ticket that includes access to “Pompeii: The Immortal City” as well as the museum’s other interactive exhibits. 

Admission is $7 for Museum members; $25 for adults; $23.50 for youth (ages 6 – 12) and seniors (ages 60 and older); and $20 for preschool-aged children (ages 3 – 5). Dome tickets are additional. Discounts are available for teachers, military personnel, groups and EBT cardholders. Exhibition-only admission during Friday extended hours (June 14 – August 30, 5 – 8 p.m.) is $15.

This exhibition on Pompeii was first displayed in Brussels, Belgium in November 2017, and gives a unique look at a well-known natural disaster. It was developed and produced by TEMPORA in collaboration with Civita and Filmmaster based on the scientific research of Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli and Museo Galileo Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze and distributed by Exhibits Development Group. It is presented locally by Altria and sponsored locally by WestRock and Allianz Partners.

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