There is a novelty inside the Archeological Museum of Naples: a new exhibition named “Egypt Naples. From the Orient”, curated by Valeria Sampaolo, is open from June 29th. It forms part of the project “Egypt Pompeii”.
On this occasion a room is inaugurated on the second floor of the building; it will house archeological records of the cult of Isis in Campania and of other oriental religions with which the Roman world came into contact. Therefore, the room will be the extension of the spaces dedicated to the decorations and furnishings of the Temple of Isis in Pompeii.
The fertile spread of oriental cults in Campania is testified by the discovery of a large number of depictions representing Attis, Cybele, Sabazio even on objects of everyday life. Moreover, further evidence is provided by the portrait of Mitra on a bas-relief coming from Capri, by gnostic gems with symbols and mysterious inscriptions, which remind people of the magic-superstitious element of Egyptomania. Finally references to Judaism are documented by funerary inscriptions that have never been shown before.
Among the masterpieces on exhibition there will be some artifacts inspired by Egyptian culture, such as drinking glasses made of obsidian coming from Stabia – they were probably produced in Alexandria – with excellent inlays of semiprecious stones and very thin gold leaves. There will be also frescoes depicting scenes of ceremonies dedicated to the cult of Isis coming from the Gymnasium of Herculaneum and the niche of Isis coming from the Praedia of Giulia Felice. All these archaeological relics have been until now in the museum stores.
The new exhibition space is the third stage of the project “Egypt Pompeii”, due to the collaboration of the Egyptian Museum, the Monuments and Fine Arts Office of Pompeii and the Archeological Museum of Naples that has made use of the organization of Electa.
Three different initiatives have been organized in as many locations in order to show influences and connections which arose out and passed through the land of the Nile and reached Campania through the Mediterranean Sea spreading all over the peninsula.
– “The Nile in Pompeii. Views of Egypt in the Roman world” in the Egyptian Museum until September 4th
– “Egypt Pompeii” inside the Great Gymnasium of Pompeii
– Reopening of the Egyptian Collection at the MANN of Naples from October 8th