BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Pompeii Reborn

Archaeological Park inaugurates major improvement project

pompeii fresco

Pompeii Reborn: A fresco depicting the mythological scene of Frisso and Elle fleeing on the golden-fleeced ram. Courtesy Pompeii Archaeological Park.

The Pompeii Archaeological Park is launching a 100-million-euro project aimed at regenerating the archaeological and urban landscape of the ancient Roman city. As well as reimagining the way visitors interact with the site, the project will carry out the largest archaeological campaign at Pompeii in more than 70 years, and restore many sections of the ancient city, including the famous House of Leda and the Swan.

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A New Future for an Ancient City

The project, which will ensure “accessibility and protection,” will connect the 11 different municipalities that surround Pompeii, including Herculaneum. “After the years spent safeguarding the site of Pompeii,” said Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of the Archaeological Park, “we are now in a phase in which we must set sail for new horizons: Our work is underpinned by an approach based on town planning applied to an archaeological site, in this case, an ancient city.”

pompeii fresco

Cleaning a fresco in the northern house. Courtesy Pompeii Archaeological Park.

Among the planned improvements are large exhibits, increased preservation and protection of the site, shuttle services between areas, workshops for kids, and new catering options. “In a nutshell,” continued Zuchtriegel, “we are thinking of Pompeii as a contemporary city, with the sole difference that it has remained almost unchanged for 2,000 years and consists of a global citizenship of travelers who come every day from every continent on the planet.”

leda and the swan

Leda and the Swan. Courtesy Pompeii Archaeological Park.

One of the project’s immediate goals is the restoration of the famous House of Leda and the Swan, named after one of its impressive frescos, which sensually depicts Jupiter, in the form of a swan, consorting with Leda, wife of King Tindar of Sparta. Intending to open the house to the public, the Pompeii archaeological team has already begun renewed excavations and conservation work and will construct new protective shelters over the house. While excavations have continued to focus on previously identified rooms within the house, they have also uncovered several new rooms, including servants’ quarters, another small room, and a corridor. Two new houses have also been discovered to the south and north.

The House of Leda has continued to dazzle archaeologists with new frescos depicting portraits of women, birds, trees, and even fantastic animals. The houses to the north and south also include similar frescos. The northern house, which consists of at least six rooms connected to an atrium, includes still life and lake scene frescoes. The southern house boasts a fresco depicting the mythological scene of Frisso and Elle fleeing on the golden-fleeced ram.

Portrait of a woman

Portrait of a woman in the House of Leda and the Swan. Courtesy Pompeii Archaeological Park.


Read more in Bible History Daily:

Pompeii Fast Food Restaurant Uncovered

Excavating Pompeii’s Middle Class

All-Access members, read more in the BAS Library:

The Destruction of Pompeii—God’s Revenge?

How to Find a Brothel in Pompeii

Climbing Vesuvius

Not a BAS Library or All-Access Member yet? Join today.

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