Mount Vesuvius

ST. LOUIS, MO. (APRIL 8, 2019) – On May 17, the Saint Louis Science Center will open POMPEII: THE EXHIBITION, a traveling exhibition that highlights the history of the Roman city of Pompeii and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., which left the city destroyed –yet perfectly preserved –under 15 feet of ash and volcanic debris. Guests will experience both the splendor of ancient Rome when Pompeii bustled as a commercial post and strategic military and trading city, as well as the horror and aftermath of the powerful eruption.

The 12,000-square-foot exhibition features more than 150 authentic artifacts on loan from the renowned Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy. The original objects preserved in the as include all-sized frescoes, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, ancient Roman coins, and armor. In addition to the ancient Roman objects, there are more than a dozen full body casts of the volcano’s victims.

POMPEII: THE EXHIBITION is truly an immersive experience for visitors, from the amazing historic artifacts discovered in the ruins of the city to the 4-D Eruption Theater, which offers a glimpse of the sights and sounds of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius,” said Jackie Mollet, managing director of visitor services for the Saint Louis Science Center. “The exhibition is very unique in that it creates an unparalleled opportunity for visitors to feel a human connection to both the ancient city and the devastating event that both destroyed and preserved it.”

The artifacts, set in scenic depictions of their original surroundings, tell the tale of the lively city of Pompeii, hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery over 250 years ago. The catastrophic power of volcanoes is also illustrated through an immersive 4-D CGI experience of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The impact and devastation are evidenced by full body casts (plaster casts made from the hollows left in the ash that hardened around the victims, preserved in their final moments).

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • Introductory theater where the scene is set in a video that describes Pompeii and the nearby volcano
  • Recreated atrium from a Roman villa
  • Featured locations throughout the city, including a market, temple, and baths, recreated through projections, audio, photographic murals and graphic reproductions
  • More than 150 artifacts, including mosaics and frescoes, gladiator helmets, armor, a ship anchor, lamps, household items, furniture, jewelry, medical instruments, and tools
  • 4-D Eruption Theater that allows visitors to experience what the eruption of Mount Vesuvius was like
  • The aftermath of the eruption including the body casts of several citizens of Pompeii from that fateful day

We are excited to bring Pompeii: The Exhibition to St.Louis, a city with vibrant cultural attractions like the Saint Louis Science Center and an appreciation for the arts” said John Norman, managing director of IMG Exhibitions. “Folks from across the region are invited to experience the exhibition, providing a window into the bustling ancient city of Pompeii before nature simultaneously destroyed and uniquely preserved this city for eternity.

”To complement POMPEII: THE EXHIBITION, the Science Center will also open a new OMNIMAX® Theater film on May 17: VOLCANOES: THE FIRES OF CREATION. The film follows intrepid explorer Carsten Peter as he dodges boulders at the edge of an active volcano in Indonesia, descends to a boiling lava lake in the South Pacific Ocean nation Vanuatu and visits incredible acid ponds, geysers and mineral deposit fields in Ethiopia. Viewers will see the archaeological ghost town of Pompeii, hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean and the devastating effects of the 2018 Kilauea eruption in Hawaii. The film is an SK Films Release of a Digital Crossing Films production, in association with the Giant Dome Theater Consortium.

VOLCANOES Director and Producer Michael Dalton-Smith said, “We often think of volcanoes as being destructive, but they also build and play a beneficial role on the planet. There are dozens of volcanoes erupting each day from the bottom of the ocean to mountain peaks. To witness one in action is both beautiful and awe-inspiring.”He adds, “Most importantly, I hope that the audiences will come away with a better understanding of the forces that shaped the world we know today.”

“We know that volcanoes are fascinating to many people and are thrilled to offer this well-rounded experience to our guests,” said Mollet. “The Science Center’s mission is ‘to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning,’ and we feel that by offering guests the chance to experience the rich history of Pompeii and its treasures, while also being able to be immersed in the world of volcanoes in the unique OMNIMAX experience, we are able to demonstrate how science intersects with the world around us.

”Tickets for POMPEII: THE EXHIBITION and VOLCANOES: THE FIRES OF CREATION are on sale now at, 314.289.4424 or by visiting a Science Center box office. A special combination price is available.

Saint Louis Science Center
The mission of the Saint Louis Science Center is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning. Named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate in 2016, the Saint Louis Science Center features more than 700 interactive exhibits, as well as a five-story OMNIMAX® Theater, Boeing Hall and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. For more information about the Saint Louis Science Center, please visit

IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events, and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations, and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

Naples National Archaeological Museum
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.

SK Films
SK Films is an award-winning content provider and a global leader in the IMAX®/Giant Screen industry. SK works across various genres and platforms, including theatrical, television and digital media, with a special emphasis on creating high impact natural history and science-related content. SK has a reputation as one of the most accomplished and respected producers and distributors supplying 3D, 2D and Dome product to IMAX and other Giant Screen theatres worldwide, with a mission to entertain and inspire audiences and immerse them in the awe and wonder of the world we live in. For more information, please visit

Digital Crossing Films
Digital Crossing Films is a natural history documentary film company that specializes in IMAX®/Giant Screen productions as well as 8k TV productions. For the past fifteen years, Digital Crossing Productions has been creating exciting natural history programs for international markets, which air on Smithsonian Channel, National Geographic and Discovery Channel. Two of these natural history programs –Volcanic Odysseys and Kenya Wildlife Diaries received multiple nominations for the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards.

Contact: Mindy Peirce
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