Melbourne Museum – A Day In Pompeii exhibition

Posted: October 31, 2009 in Melbourne
Tags: , ,

Here is a post that I have been trying to make for a while, but it seems that WordPress, Firefox, AOL and Photobucket have all conspired against me to make posting this as difficult as possible. I have had all sorts of problems with this post and it has taken me two and a bit days to finally get everything posted.

Last Sunday Priscilla and I set of for the A Day In Pompeii exhibition at the Melbourne Museum.

Picture 156

First of all I have posted a photo of the criminally underutilised Royal Exhibition Building. This building which was built especially for the grand exhibition of 1880, and was the federal parliament house of Australia between 1901 and 1927, is really beautiful, especially when compared to the modern museum building that stands beside it.

Picture 151

The Exhibition Building did once serve as the Melbourne Museum, and I feel that it should be used in some way for a museum type purpose. The current premises cannot display the whole of the Museum’s collection, so perhaps it could display items relating to Melbourne in the 19th and early 20th century. (Items that don’t get much love by the current museum’s curators!)


Here is a piece of the Colonial Mutual building that stood on the corner of Elizabeth and Collins Street between 1896 and 1960, when it was demolished to make way for the current National Australia Bank building. It is very surprising how many grand old buildings were demolished between 1950 and 1980. We tend to think that this sort of barbarism is a more modern thing but at least now we try to recognise a buildings historical value, rather than just call in Whelan the Wrecker.

There were a lot of interesting items in the Pompeii exhibition.

Image courtesy Museum Victoria

Image courtesy Melbourne Museum

dog cast

Image courtesy Melbourne Museum

The sadest thing at the Pompeii exhibition were the casts of the people and animals that died after the explosion of Vesuvius. Especially the cast of the dog (at right) and of the slave who was still in his shackles.

Image courtesy Melbourne Museum

It was a really interesting exhibition.


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