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    Pre-volcanic Pompeii in Paris: an Exhibition

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    A major exhibition re-creates the atmosphere of ancient Pompeii in the heart of Paris. Pompeii life seems to have been similar to that of today -- before being completely buried in volcanic ash.

    In an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of the Italian town of Pompeii some 2,000 years ago, an exhibition called "Pompeii, a Way of Living" is portraying the ancient city in all its pre-volcanic splendor.

    Instead of focusing on the volcano's eruption, the Paris exhibition which kicks off on Wednesday showcases how citizens went about their daily lives before the eruption turned them all to ashen relics.

    The artistic director of the Musee Maillol, Patrizia Nitti, said the idea was to attract visitors' attention not by showing luxury or wealth but by proving that people's daily lives around 79 a.d. were pretty similar to our own.

    [Patrizia Nitti, Artistic Director, Musee Maillol]:
    "A house dating from the Renaissance or the 18th century, or the Versailles palace are without a doubt, absolute marvels. But one would not be able to live there anymore, because it doesn't fit with our way of living, with the way we think about our daily life. On the other hand, the homes of Pompeii are totally liveable for us. They had central heating, a size nearer to today's scale, running water, plumbing to send used waters to the sewers. It was a way of living very similar to ours."

    A number of pieces exhibiting daily life are displayed in the exhibit, such as frescoes, mosaics as well as other objects of everyday life.

    For Nitti, the city neighboring Naples was more a testament to life than death.

    [Patrizia Nitti, Artistic Director, Musee Maillol]:
    "We have tried to recreate a normal villa, neither an extraordinary place to live in, nor a majestic house, but life - in a wealthy home of course, of a well-off family. We wanted to show...