Ancient Artifacts Arrive for ‘Pompeii: The Exhibition’ at Museum of Science and Industry

CHICAGO (CBS) — Workers opened up a crate full of history at the Museum of Science and Industry on Thursday.

This contents of the crate are much older than the museum – which will celebrate its 90th anniversary this year – or its building, which was constructed for the World’s Columbian Exposition 130 years ago this year. Compared to what was in the crate, those historical dates are actually very recent.

The crate contained an ancient Roman painting from the city of Pompeii. The Cupid fresco is just one of the ancient artifacts you’ll see on display when the museum’s Pompeii exhibit opens next week.

The MSI notes that Cupids are associated with the god of love in classical mythology – and are a common motif seen in ancient art and sculpture.

A fresco – a term derived from the Italian word for “fresh” – is a type of wall painting in which the paint is applied where the plaster is still wet, the MSI noted. This method bonds the fresco painting to the wall.

Pompeii was destroyed by nature in 79 A.D., more than 1,900 years ago. But as the museum notes, it was preserved in a volcanic time capsule after being destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

“Pompeii: The Exhibition” will take you right to the commercial port city of Pompeii. The museum notes that the exhibition features “treasures, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, gladiator armor, weapons, ancient Roman coins, and full body casts of the volcano’s victims.”

Also on display will be multimedia experiences – including a holographic gladiator display at the Pompeii amphitheater, and a 4D eruption simulation at Mount Vesuvius.

“Pompeii: The Exhibition” opens on Thursday, Feb. 23, and runs through Sept. 4. It is not included in general museum admission and requires an additional timed-entry ticket.

Advance tickets are available now.