Art: The Coming of the Pompeians

From Italy to Boston, a blockbuster loan exhibition

In 1979 a mud slide buried Malibu fathoms under the Pacific. There it lay for nearly 2,000 years: the brown Mercedes 450s and the manuals on orgasm, the barnacle-encrusted Jacuzzis, tennis gear, waterlogged paperbacks on obscure Eastern cults, Cuisinarts, bud vases, I.U.D.s and LeRoy Neiman prints, jumbled with the bones of producers and promoters. Archaeologists even found the calcified remains of a Lhasa Apso, pathetically clutching in its teeth the rawhide doggie pacifier it had tried to keep while vainly fleeing the cataclysm: mute testimony to...

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