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Union Station Officials Hope For Another Kansas City Blockbuster With 'Pompeii'

Staff from Kansas City's Union Station announced Wednesday that come November the Bank of America Gallery will be the first stop on a three-city North American tour of POMPEII: The Exhibition. 

Exhibitions International president John Norman said visitors to POMPEII will take a journey back in time to the ancient Roman city "where they will learn about Pompeii, and the bustling, commercial port that it was." 

That is until 79 A.D., when Pompeii was buried — and preserved — under volcanic ash after Mt. Vesuvius erupted. The city was rediscovered about 250 years ago. 

Nearly 200 artifacts will be on display from the Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy, including a gladiator helmet dating from the first century, a bronze statue of Apollo, and wall-sized fresco paintings, as well as household objects, such as plates, pots and pans. 

"The artifacts tell the stories of how the people lived, loved, worked, and, unfortunately, died when Mt. Vesuvius erupted and covered the city with 12 feet of ash," Norman added. 

A "4D eruption theater" will also provide an immersive experience of the natural disaster. 

George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station, described POMPEII as "one of the biggest exhibitions that Union Station has ever mounted." This continues the trend for Union Station as "the place for blockbuster exhibitions," he said. The venue has previously featured exhibitions on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Titanic, King Tut and the late Princess Diana. 

POMPEII: The Exhibition opens Nov. 18 at Union Station, and runs through spring 2017. 

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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