Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Things you'll like about ROM's exhibition Pompeii (2)

The Royal Ontario Museum's new exhibition Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano will be on until January 3, 2016. 

What YOU will love about it:
The casts of Pompeii citizens frozen in time.

What YOUR KIDS will love about it:

The cast of a dog that could not escape because he was chained to his dog house... And the mosaic of a dog which said "Beware of the dog", which was found at the house of this dog!... And the T-shirt of this dog mosaic you will find in the gift shop at the exit of the exhibition.

Related post:

Interesting facts about the casts
• People were buried in the ash, which hardened to form a porous shell, meaning that the soft tissues of the bodies decayed, leaving the skeleton in a void. Fiorelli, the director of works in charge of the excavations in 1863, had plaster poured into the cavities and then chipped away the ash, exposing the cast of a person killed during the eruption almost 1800 years earlier. 
• Some 100 casts were done of the estimated 1,100 bodies found. We think there were 12,000 people living in Pompeii at the time.
• The casts at the ROM's exhibition which are made out of resin are actually 3D prints of the original casts. 

I recommend you watch the BBC movie Pompeii: the Last Day with your kids AFTER attending the exhibition, for more impact.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Underpass Park turned into a (street) art gallery!

A concrete milestone for the Pan Am Path!
I expected that we would see murals gradually pop up in the Underpass Park under the Gardiner but I didn't count on the Live Art Festival on June 20th, when many pilars got a major make-over all at once!

A friend who lives in the neighbourhood told me that Corktown Common, which hosts a fantastic splash pad (one of my most popular post!), would be closed for the summer because of the Pan Am Games. So yesterday, I went to see for myself. 

Bad news: Corktown Common and its splash pad will be CLOSED until August 31. Good news: the Underpass Park and playground on the west side of Lower River Street will remain open.

I crashed a party!
Little did I know that a multi-arts festival was going under the Gardiner! I was so distracted by the dancing performers on stilts colourful costumes that I did not see right way that something was different in the background. 

The only touches of colour we used to see in the Underpass Park (on the east side of Lower River), came from lights effects.

That was before artists were commissioned to adorn the pilars with murals!


Now, skaters and basketball lovers will be able to enjoy the most beautiful park in Toronto! 

When the Friends of the Pan Am Path said 
"Let's paint the Corktown!"...

They meant business!

While you're there
Two other great additions in the neighbourhood: Tim Hortons with a patio (south-west corner at the corner of King East and Lower River Street), perfect for families to grab a snack and drink after they've let off some steam in the park. And Odin (across the street at 514 King east), a new independant café which belongs to the owners of Thor Espresso Bar on Bathurst.

About the Pan Am Path
Friends of the Pan Am Path is the main organizer of the Pan Am Path Art Relay, motivated by the chance to celebrate the best of the region while also creating a meaningful legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Games for residents. Much of the route lies on existing trails and pathways that are being improved and connected.
Since its inception, the Pan Am Path project has been endorsed by the Pan Am/Parapan Am leads at all three levels of Government and 22 other elected officials. Legacy construction to improve and create new connections along the Pan Am Path will continue through 2017.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

ROM's Pompeii: 9 proofs that things haven't changed much in 2,000 years!

When in ROM... Visit the Pompeii exhibition!

The new exhibition Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano will be at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) until January 3, 2016. It is your chance to see 200 artifacts from this ancient city frozen in time following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Year 79.

It is obviously fascinating to see casts of people who perished in Pompeii, and watch the eruption simulation in a dark room. It is equally impressive to see jewelry, portrait statues, and even glassware so well preserved.

But this is not what we truly enjoyed (apart from the fact that this exhibition is entirely bilingual!) about this time capsule of the 20-km wide city of 12,000 (as big as Leslieville in Toronto, which hosts a population of 25,000).

What really caught our attention (I was visiting with my 22-year old son), was similitude between Year 79 and 2015 in terms of behaviors and values (better appreciated by children 10 years and older).

Political PR
A mural was found, depicting politicians running for office, offering bread to the crowd.

Product placement
The mural was located within the baker's shop! (There were 30 bakeries in town.)

Action figures
Gladiators had action figures!

There were advertisements painted on the walls to promote the games in Pompeii. In the one shown in the exhibition, we can read: 
"Lucretius Satrius Valens will provide 20 pairs of gladiators, and his son, 10 pairs, to fight at Pompeii, on April 8 to 12. There will be proper wild-animal hunts and awnings."

Two magistrates financed the construction of Pompeii's 20,000-seat amphitheatre.

A mural illustrates holligans from Year 59 involved in a partisan battle that got so violent that even NERO (Roman emperor at the time, know for his cruelty) banned gladiator combats for 10 years!

Art collectors
We are told that the orator Lucius Crassus paid 100,000 sesterces for a set of two cups chased by the artist Mentor. Based on the information found in other parts of the exhibition, we calculated that 100 sesterces equal one gold coin.  Knowing that a gold coin weighted 7.96 grams and that the current price of gold is $1175 per once, we figured that the two cups would now be worth $300,000. 

We saw a grafitti of musicians at a gladiator fight in a town near Pompeii, etched on a tomb in the nearby cemetery...

On a vase containing garum, we can read: "The flower of the flower of mackerel garum, made by Scaurus, from the workshop of Agathopus."

Sex in the City
In a secluded part of the exhibition (easy to bypass if visiting with children, just around the corner from the "Early warning signs?"wall), you'll find a kinky little X-rated section!

Related posts:
What you'll like, what your kids will like 1
What you'll like, what your kids will like 2