From April the 29th Pompeii has a new exhibition at the Antiquarium, recently reopened in the archaeological excavations: "Thanks to the Grace: The religious devotion in the ancient and modern Pompeii" promoted by an extraordinary synergy between Pompeii Superintendence and the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, with the collaboration of the European Centre for Tourism and Culture chaired by Giuseppe Lepore and the organizational support of Civita Mu.Se.A, on the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis. The exhibition is curated by Francesco Buranelli and Massimo Osanna.
"Thanks to the Grace" is the formula that accompanies - since time immemorial - the votive offerings of the faithful people to God for hearing their prayers and giving them divine help. "According to promise" (“Ex voto suscepto” in Latin) was, however, the ancient Latin formula for expressing an identical gratitude to the pagan gods. Humans, in fact, have always
acknowledged God the Father and his willingness to help them to overcome the difficulties of life (health, protection and well-being for their loved ones) and to answer to their prayers, even with a miraculous intervention. The prayer of supplication and thanksgiving is so often accompanied by one thing: a promise to God to fulfill "something" also offering a spontaneous gratitude to the sanctuary. The object's offer is the "sign" of this gratitude, and thus becomes an act of worship and divine devotion.
The exhibition aims to explore people's intimate and personal relationship with God that is perpetuated through the centuries by the ancient pagan world to the Christian world in a surprising continuity of expression in respect of the large divergence of the two religions. For the first time, in fact, there is a comparison between rituals and offerings of the ancient Samnites and Romans of Pompeii to the pagan deities and the Christian ones that, even today, people offer to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary. What emerges is a strict parallelism, even though times and religions have changed, that is perpetuated in a ritual and a "language" of votive offerings in identical forms.
The exhibition is divided into three sections: 1) Holy Roman Pompeii archaeological section; 2) pagan iconography and Christian iconography; 3) Marian devotion in the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary. The exhibition also integrates with thematic sections arranged in the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary and in the area of the excavations: from the temple of Apollo to the temple of Isis, the House of the Menander to the Thermopolium of Vetutius Placido, in order to promote a moment of cultural meeting between archaeological tourism and religious pilgrimage.
For this event the historic Antiquarium of Pompeii will be reopened to the public after a decade of closure. The Antiquarium was made by Giuseppe Fiorelli in 1870 to preserve the large amount of artifacts found in the archaeological area.
The exhibition is open from Monday to Sunday from 9 AM to 7 PM and is accessed through the Porta Marina and Piazza Esedra entrance. The tickets cost 2 euros per person.
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