Pompeii: The Immortal City exhibit ‘stuck’ at the MAC, new online programs start this month

SPOKANE, Wash. — Pompeii: The Immortal City opened six weeks ago with over 100 artifacts from Italy and more than a thousand visitors from the community.

Well, now those artifacts all remain, but with zero visitors.

The exhibit was supposed to close on May 3rd and be returned to Italy not long after.

But now Washington’s stay-at-home order is extended to May 4th and Italy is under a travel ban that lasts even longer.

So the Pompeii exhibit is basically stuck here for the time being and most likely longer than planned.

But, the MAC plans to bring the Pompeii experience online.

A Pompeii lecture series they had planned is now a webinar series that will be available online each Thursday in April at 6:30pm.

“We have wonderful speakers from across the country,” said Executive Director of the MAC, Wes Jessup. “Unfortunately, they can’t fly here to give these lectures like we had planned. But they’ve all been so wonderful to offer the lecture virtually online.”

Other plans for the museum online include a story time hour for kids ages 3-5 years old every weekday in April.

They also plan to do virtual tours of three different exhibits, including the Pompeii exhibit, on social media starting April 7th.

As for the Pompeii exhibit, Jessup said he would hope they could keep it longer than planned if only to just give everyone the chance to enjoy it a little more before its eventual return to Italy.

He also sympathizes with those in Italy being impacted now by the modern day disaster that is the coronavirus pandemic.

“They’re the ones that loaned us this material, this art and these artifacts. So we feel terrible for them right now and we have associates there that came over to Spokane, they were wonderful to work with. So we really hope that they are on a path to recovery,” he said.

Details on the new online programs can be found on the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture Facebook Page.