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Union Station Announces Historic North American Tour Of POMPEII: The Exhibition

September 7, 2016

Union Station Announces Historic North American Tour Of POMPEII: The Exhibition

Opening November 18 in Bank of America Gallery.
Visitors will experience the sights, sounds and sensations before, during and after the catastrophic
79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which left the city of Pompeii frozen in time.
Exhibition to feature nearly 200 priceless artifacts – some traveling outside Italy for the first time.

KANSAS CITY, MO (Sept. 7, 2016) This morning, Union Station officials announced their selection as the venue to host the opening of yet another North American tour.  This time, POMPEII: The Exhibition -- presented by Bank of America -- premieres on November 18th and promises to be one of the most significant and immersive international tours to fill the Station’s vast Bank of America Gallery.

“We wanted to bring this most historical event back to life and allow visitors to relive it vividly,” John Norman, president, Exhibitions International and producer of POMPEII: The Exhibition, said. “This new exhibition allows you to explore treasures and experience life in the bustling city of Pompeii before time essentially stopped. Guests will then relive the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in a 4D eruption theatre before stepping into the last gallery featuring the most iconic artifacts of Pompeii . . . actual body casts of those who perished.  Union Station’s first-class 20,000 square foot Bank of America Gallery and stellar reputation in the worldwide exhibition community makes Kansas City an easy first choice when it comes to an international tour of this importance.”

On August 24, 79 A.D., the Roman city of Pompeii was frozen in time by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, burying everything in its path for more than 1700 years. The same ash and debris from Vesuvius’ unpredicted eruption that destroyed the city - also remarkably preserved it. POMPEII: The Exhibition will feature nearly 200 precious artifacts on loan from the unparalleled collection of the Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy. Included in that list are 10 artifacts that have never been seen in any exhibition in the United States. Those items include a first century, bronze gladiator helmet; a Citharist bronze statue of Apollo, dating to 50 A.D; and several remarkable fresco paintings, including one of Dionysus and Silenus, dating between 50- 79 A.D.

“The exhibition gives an extraordinary look at the city of Pompeii’s archeological treasures that rarely leave Italy,” George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station, said. “It is one of the most fascinating and important exhibitions of ancient archaeology and humanity ever seen and it’s coming to Kansas City. What an honor for all of us.  And what an emphatic validation of the culture and curiosity our world-class city continues to demonstrate. With the broad appeal of Pompeii as a topic, we expect to host large numbers of visitors.  The human connection to this ancient story is very much alive today.  Pompeii will come to life at Union Station and not soon be forgotten.” 

POMPEII: The Exhibition examines the lives of the doomed residents both before and after the massive eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. 

As visitors walk through the Exhibition, they will travel back in time to that fateful morning of the eruption. In a media-rich, object-based, immersive experience, they will learn how Pompeii was a bustling commercial port and strategic military and trading center, and that its neighbor Herculaneum, also buried by Vesuvius, was an exclusive Mediterranean resort. Artifacts – including frescoes, mosaics, and statues from the sites – will recreate a sense of this world as visitors discover how its people lived, loved, worked, worshipped, and found entertainment.

POMPEII: The Exhibition tells the tale of this city, hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery over 250 years ago. The sudden disaster that destroyed it also preserved it and over time archaeologists have uncovered a unique record of its daily life — roads, buildings, municipal services, paintings, mosaics, artifacts, and even preserved bodies. Ongoing excavations at the site provides an ever-evolving picture of everyday life at the height of the Roman Empire.

The Exhibition experience will include:

  • Introductory theatre where the scene is set in a video with dramatic reconstructions that describes Pompeii and the nearby volcano.
  • Visitors are then transported back in time to 79 A.D. and find themselves in a reproduced atrium from a Roman villa, where they will embark on a journey through the ancient city.
  • Through the use of projections, audio, video, photographic murals, and graphic reproductions of frescoes and mosaics, visitors will experience different locations that existed in the city, including a market, a temple, theater, and baths,
  • Nearly 200 authentic artifacts will help bring the story of Pompeii to life.  These remarkable objects include: Mosaics and frescoes, gladiator helmets, armor, and weapons, a ship’s anchor, lamps, jugs, cups, plates, pots and pans and other household objects and furniture, jewelry, medical instruments, and tools,
  • A simulated eruption theater will allow visitors to experience the deathly impact Mount Vesuvius had on this ancient city, culminating in the reveal of full body casts of twisted human forms, asphyxiated by extreme heat and noxious gases and forever frozen in time.

“As a longtime partner of Union Station Kansas City, Bank of America is delighted to once again help connect people and communities to the arts,” Gary Jankowitz, Bank of America Kansas City market president, said. “In sponsoring POMPEII, our goal is to further nurture and support creativity and culture throughout our community, while deepening our relationship with Union Station.”

During a remarkable year of growth and development at Union Station, POMPEII promises to be yet another driver of economic success and alignment with the Station’s mission cornerstones of Science Education, Preservation of History and Celebration of Community.

“Kansas City and Union Station once again land on the international stage with this exhibition announcement,” Bob Regnier, Union Station Board Chairman, said.  “What has been a remarkable renaissance for our historic monument – centering on our award-winning, world-class Science Center – continues with POMPEII: The Exhibition.  Having set yet more new attendance records for Station attractions in 2016, we’re confident Pompeii will further lift our success.  And that’s a very good thing for all of Kansas City and the entire region.  Rich educational content, broad and diverse product appeal, and relevancy for visitors of all ages . . . that’s a formula that has put Union Station on track for sustained vibrancy.”

A special and limited window for advance ticket savings opens today and runs through Sept. 25th for POMPEII: The Exhibition.  During this period, Union Station Members receive a 48% discount and the general public receives a 20% discount on VIP Admissions.  After this early sales window, General Admission ticket prices are $19.95 for adults, $15.95 for children 3-12 and $16.95 for Seniors (55+) and Military on Mondays.   School Group pricing is $9.95.  And Groups of 15 or more are priced at $12.95.  Advance ticket reservations are recommended by visiting www.unionstation.org/pompeii or the Union Station Box Office.  For more information about Group visits or how to become a Union Station Member, please call 816-460-2020 or visit UnionStation.org.

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA: Hi-res images are available for download at unionstation.org/pompeii and scroll to lower right corner for PRESS information.

Union Station wishes to thank current sponsors supporting POMPEII: The Exhibition, including Bank of America, Molle Automotive Group, Kansas City Star, KCPT and City of Kansas City, MO – Neighborhood Tourism & Development Fund with more to come.  

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About Union Station Kansas City, Inc.

Union Station Kansas City -- a 501(c)3 non-profit organization – is a 100-year-old historical landmark and celebrated civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. The organization -- dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history -- is home to Kansas City’s internationally-awarded Science Center; the popular Model Railroad Experience; the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, H&R Block City Stage featuring live theater, and a selection of unique shops and restaurants. Union Station is also home to prominent area civic organizations and businesses, and regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Awarded “Top Banquet Facilities in KC” by KC Business Journal, the facility regularly hosts community events and private celebrations of all sizes. Visit WWW.UNIONSTATION.ORG or details. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Exhibitions International

The world’s preeminent museum exhibition producer, was founded as Arts & Exhibitions International by John Norman in 2003. Under Norman’s direction, the company was entrusted with the most valuable treasures from earth and sea, including objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun, relics from Cleopatra’s Royal Palace, Princess Diana’s Royal Wedding Gown, and the only authenticated pirate treasure in the world. These riches are the heart and soul of breathtaking museum experiences created by Exhibitions International. Each unforgettable experience has mesmerized audiences at the finest art, science and history museums worldwide – totaling more than 30 million visitors.

About Naples National Archaeological Museum (MANN)

A world class museum located in the heart of the city, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples houses one of the most important collections of classical archaeology in the world. Set in the massive 16th century palace Palazzo degli Studi, the museum was founded by Ferdinand IV in 1777. Formed from the discoveries from the Vesuvian Excavations which were at the time exhibited in Museo Herculanese in the Royal Palace at Portici and his family’s extensive collection of art and Roman antiquities, the Farnese collection, today the museum holds over three million objects of archaeological and historic importance.
 

MANN is certainly the essence of Pompeii and its important and vast collection of Vesuvian antiquities shows it. It is the museum of the capital of the kingdom of the Bourbons, the place where all the attention to western values of classical culture begins. The Museum includes an incredible patrimony: the world’s most important collection of classical sculpture, brought to Naples by the Farnese family and representing the evolution of western sculpture; furthermore MANN is the gate of the Italian culture and of Ancient Greece thanks to the discoveries made in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies; it has the second largest Egyptian section - after the one in Turin - with the peculiarity of having a lot of objects that appeared in Italy before the Napoleonic expedition, where you can discover the taste of the pre-Napoleon's Egyptian culture and owns a collection of nearly 2500 documents written in Latin, Greek, and dialects of the Italic peoples.

MANN boasts the richest and most valuable collection of artworks and artifacts of archaeological interest in Italy and is considered one of the most important archaeological museums in the world, if not the most important concerning Pompeii’s history.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts:  Michael Tritt, Union Station | 816-460-2278
Nancy Chartrand Besa, Besa PR | 816-674-4775