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Current Exhibitions

 

Introduction

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series
Mare Nostrum: Roman Navy and Pompeii

Mare Nostrum – "Our Sea": that was how ancient Romans referred to the Mediterranean Sea. A small city-state in the central Italian Peninsula when it was founded in the eighth century BC, ancient Rome had conquered and claimed as its own vast areas of land bordering the Mediterranean Sea by the first century AD. At the peak of its power, its territory spanned Europe, North Africa and West Asia, making Rome one of the largest empires in the ancient world.

Without its dominance over the Mediterranean Sea, the Roman Empire would not have been able to extend its power beyond its heartlands: benefiting greatly from advances in the knowledge and techniques of navigation, the Romans were able to control harbours and cities along the Mediterranean coastline. The development of maritime navigation was intricately connected to a number of different aspects of Roman society, from transport and commerce, through leisure and entertainment, to war and military defence. When Mount Vesuvius on the west coast of Italy erupted in AD 79, spewing out huge waves of volcanic ash and debris that destroyed the city of Pompeii and other nearby towns, the Roman navy's attempt to evacuate victims by sea marked one of the first recorded civilian rescue missions in history as well as the high point of Roman navigational developments.

Bringing together for the very first time around 110 sets of invaluable exhibits from about 10 museums and heritage organizations in Rome, Naples, Pompeii and other parts of Italy, this exhibition showcases jewellery made of gold and precious metals and stones, silverware, statues, marble reliefs and artefacts recovered from shipwrecks. It is also the first time that museum visitors in Hong Kong will be able to see the stunning full body casts of Pompeii's victims. Together with a great variety of multimedia programmes and 3D animation, visitors will be introduced to the development of Roman maritime navigation and get the chance to experience for themselves the formidable force of the volcano that destroyed Pompeii.

The Museum offers public guided tours from 13 June onwards. Each tour lasts about 1 hour and admits 30 persons on a first come, first served basis.
Public Guided Tour Schedule (PDF)

Marble relief of a Roman trireme
End of 1st century BC to Early 1st century AD
From Pozzuoli
Collection of the Museo Archeologico
dei Campi Flegrei nel Castello di Baia
Fresco depicting a naumachy
79 to 62 BC
From Pozzuoli
Collection of the Archaeological
National Museum of Naples
Mosaic
1st century AD
From Pompeii
Collection of Archaeological
National Museum of Naples
Loaf of bread
AD 79
From Herculaneum
Collection of the Archaeological
National Museum of Naples
Plaster cast of victim of the Vesuvius eruption
AD 79
From Pompeii
Collection of the Archaeological 
National Museum of Naples
Plaster cast of victim of the Vesuvius eruption
AD 79
From Pompeii
Collection of the Archaeological
National Museum of Naples

8/6/2016 – 29/8/2016

Admission  Fee (including "The Hong Kong Story" permanent exhibition)
Mondays, Thursdays to Sundays
Standard: HK$20
Concession:HK$10 (for people with disabilities (and one accompanying minder), full time students and senior citizens aged 60 or above)
Group (20 persons or above):HK$14

50% discount on Wednesdays

Free admission for Museum Pass holders

Venue
Special Exhibition Gallery, Hong Kong Museum of History

Solely sponsored by
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust

Jointly presented by 
Leisure and Cultural Services Department
Contemporanea Progetti
Expona

Jointly organised by
Hong Kong Museum of History

Contemporanea Progetti
Expona