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Complete Roman Fresco Discovered in Arles, France
ARLES, FRANCE—A mural resembling those at Pompeii has been discovered in the bedroom of a Roman villa in southern France. The fresco, which dates between 20 and 70 B.C., is one of only a few full murals to be found outside Italy. Among the 11 images in the painting, now in more than 12,000 fragments, is a depiction of a young woman playing a harp that had been painted in expensive Egyptian blue and red vermilion pigments. “There will be gaps, gaps in these reborn frescoes,” Marie-Pierre Roth of the National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) told RFI. It could take ten years to reassemble the full fresco. To read more about Roman murals, go to
"Saving the Villa of the Mysteries."
The moment the Villa of the Mysteries was discovered in spring 1909, it was at risk. Once protected by a layer of at least 30 feet of the volcanic ash and soil that had fallen on Pompeii in A.D. 79, the villa’s stunning decoration was immediately exposed to potential damage from the elements and earthquakes, one of which occurred a bit more than a month after excavations began. As each wheelbarrow of debris was removed, revealing columns, artifacts, mosaics, and frescoes, the threat increased. It soon became clear that the house and its vibrant paintings were extraordinarily vulnerable, not only to sun, rain, and wind, but also to theft. Just three weeks after the discovery of one of the most stunning finds in the famed ancient city, excavations were halted and the focus shifted to protection and conservation. It would take archaeologists two more decades to completely excavate the property.
originally posted by: rhynouk
That's an amazing find, after all these years. I'm always amazed when things like this turn up. How has it survived all this time?
Pompeii is a fascinating but tragic event. I can't imagine what they went through. I wonder how many other items from that era are still around in people's homes across Europe.