If history is your thing, then you absolutely won’t want to miss the Romanorum Vita exhibition, which opens in Málaga on 24 April and runs until 14 June. Faithfully recreating daily life in a Roman city – and Málaga, or Malaca as it was then known was an integral part of the Roman Empire for more than 200 hundred years – with its life-size Roman villa and street, plus all the authentic sights, sounds and smells of the eating places, laundries, bakeries and public baths, Romanorum Vita is a whole lot more than merely another museum piece…
The itinerant exhibition has been slowly wending its way around Spain’s major cities for a year now. ‘Slowly’ being the operative word. First up is the erection of the marquee housing the exhibit, which takes 5 days to complete… followed by the construction of the Roman city showcase itself, something of a vast jigsaw puzzle, which means another 7 days of state-of-the-art engineering and technology.
Inspired by documentary and archaeological evidence, Romanorum Vita takes visitors all the way back to 79AD, at a moment in time just before the city of Pompeii was totally engulfed by lava. Audiovisual presentations projected onto the wall of the luxury villa at the hub of the exhibition depict a culture of fast food, political graffiti and overcrowding in a city that never slept, prompting exhibition commissioners Magí and Enric Seritjol to point out that despite the passage of time, and the fact that having a bedroom to yourself was previously unheard of, there are still more similarities than differences between life in 21st century Europe and that of the Roman Empire.
So, brought to us by the La Caixa Foundation, there are lots of surprises in store at Romanorum Vita. Not least the fact that here’s one bank that chooses to spend some of its money on cultural events rather than on fat-cat banker bonuses!
Although the Romanorum Vita website is only in Spanish, the virtual tour is guaranteed to whet your appetite.
The Romanorum Vita exhibition runs from 24 April to 14 June, 2012 at the Plaza de la Marina, in the centre of Málaga.
Open Tuesdays – Fridays: 12.30 to 2pm & 5pm to 9pm; Saturdays, Sundays & public holidays: 11am to 2pm & 5pm to 9pm; Closed Mondays.