World-renowned POMPEII: The Exhibition coming to Cincinnati Museum Center

Exhibition features more than 150 authentic artifacts on loan from Italy; opens Feb. 16

CINCINNATI - Cincinnatians will soon experience the sights, sounds and sensations of the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius that left a city frozen in time. POMPEII: The Exhibition will premiere at Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) on February 16, bringing more than 150 priceless artifacts from historic Pompeii to the Queen City. Guests are invited to sign up for exclusive presale ticket access to be among the first to purchase tickets for the blockbuster exhibition.

“Pompeii is a remarkable story that exists as both ancient legend and archaeological treasure, providing a timeless snapshot of daily life in the Roman Empire,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president & CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “We’re honored to be entrusted with these archaeological treasures and to once again bring the world to Cincinnati, and to do so in immersive fashion as we transport guests back in time to a period of splendor and a day of timeless catastrophe.”

On August 24, 79 A.D., the city of Pompeii, a thriving port city of the Roman Empire, was frozen in time by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, burying the city – and its people – for more than 1700 years. Remarkably, the same ash and debris from Vesuvius’ unexpected eruption that destroyed the city, also preserved it. POMPEII: The Exhibition will feature more than 150 precious artifacts on loan from the remarkable collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples in Italy, including still-vibrant mosaics and frescoes, gladiator armor, statues, jewelry and everyday items that give a glimpse into everyday life in Pompeii.

“We wanted to bring this historical event back to life and allow guests to relive it vividly,” said John Norman, president of World Heritage Exhibitions, producer of POMPEII: The Exhibition. “Cincinnati Museum Center’s reputation as a premiere venue makes it a perfect location to exhibit these international treasures and provide audiences an opportunity to experience life in the bustling city of Pompeii before time essentially stopped.”

POMPEII: The Exhibition tells the tale of a city hidden from view and forgotten for centuries. The sudden disaster that destroyed it also preserved it, revealing to archaeologists a rare and unique record of its daily life – roads, buildings, municipal services, paintings, mosaics and even preserved bodies. Ongoing excavations and archaeological research – including by teams from the University of Cincinnati – continue to uncover an ever-evolving picture of everyday life at the height of the Roman Empire.

As guests walk through the exhibition, they will travel back in time to that fateful August morning of the eruption. In a media-rich, object-based immersive experience, guests will discover the bustling commercial port and strategic military and trading center nestled at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. Authentic artifacts from Pompeii recreate a sense of this world as guests discover how its people lived, loved, worked, worshipped and found entertainment.

POMPEII: The Exhibition provides an artifact-rich, immersive experience, including:

  • An introductory theater that sets the scene in a video with dramatic reconstructions of Pompeii and the nearby volcano, painting the picture of an idyllic Roman city.
  • A reproduced atrium from a Roman villa in 79 A.D. that serves as the entry point to the ancient city.
  • Holographic gladiatorial combat, a brand-new 3D experience that takes guests through the different stages of the Mt. Vesuvius eruption.
  • Over 150 authentic artifacts that help bring the story of Pompeii to life, including mosaics and frescoes; gladiator helmets, armor and weapons; a ship’s anchor; lamps, jugs, cups, plates, pots and pans and other household objects and furniture; jewelry; medical instruments; and tools.
  • A simulated 4D eruption theater that allows guests to experience the deadly impact Mount Vesuvius had on the city, culminating in the reveal of full body casts of twisted human forms, asphyxiated by extreme heat and noxious gases, forever frozen in time.

Through January 21, guests can sign up for exclusive presale access and be instantly upgraded to VIP tickets with no entry times and same-day reentry. Presale period is January 22-28. General admission tickets go on sale January 29.

POMPEII: The Exhibition opens February 16 and will run through July 28 at Cincinnati Museum Center. Visit for tickets and more information.


Adult                    $23.50
Child                     $19.50
Senior                  $21.50
Member Adult  $17.50
Member Child  $13.50

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About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized, award-winning institution housed in a National Historic Landmark. CMC is a vital community resource that sparks curiosity, inspiration, epiphany and dialogue. CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012, one of a select few museums in the nation to receive both honors. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History MuseumMuseum of Natural History & ScienceThe Children’s MuseumRobert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® TheaterCincinnati History Library and Archives and the Geier Collections and Research Center. Housed in historic Union Terminal – a National Historic Landmark restored in 2018 and recognized as the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects – CMC welcomes more than 1.8 million visits annually, making it one of the most visited museums in the country. For more information, visit