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“Silver from the Louvre. The Boscoreale Treasure” exhibition catalogue has been released

The book is a catalogue to the eponymous temporary exhibition organized by the National Archaeological Institute with Museum and the Louvre Museum, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Embassy of France in Bulgaria, the French Institute in Bulgaria and Committee in Support of the Bulgarian Antiquities Exhibition at the Louvre Museum. The catalogue presents one of the largest silver treasures of the Roman period kept in the collections of the Louvre Museum.

The catalogue is bilingual, written in Bulgarian and French. It has two parts. The first one contains eight articles by leading Bulgarian and French scholars upon this extraordinary treasure and its fate/history. The second part is the catalogue itself presenting all objects included in the exhibition by photographs and entries. Among the highlights of the exhibition are the world famous bowl with projecting female bust, the so-called Africa dish, the bowl with projecting male portrait, trays, dishes, tripods, spoons, kantharoi, skyphoi and ladles. The finds impress with their exquisite craftsmanship and are a valuable source of evidence for the culture development of the Roman period.

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all institutions and colleagues who have contributed to the exhibition catalogue.


“The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Louvre Museum. At the same time the culture of the ancient Thracians is presented in the Louvre, where the National Archaeological Museum has provided first-rate exhibits, including the symbol of the Paris exhibition – the bronze portrait of the Thracian king Seuthes III.

Boscoreale is situated in Italy, very close to the famous Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The treasure was found in the late 19th century. It was hidden in a wine cistern of a Roman villa when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, burying everything on its slopes. The last owner of the silver set (1st c. BC – AD 1st c.) was named Maxima, who died next to it along with two other men. We present a cast of her face (by courtesy of the Antiquarium of Boscoreale) and the earrings which she wore at the time of her death.

The Boscoreale silver treasure gives a notion of the richness and exquisite taste of the ancient Roman aristocrats who lived around the beginning of the new era. Such a luxury was also familiar to the Thracian nobles in Roman Thrace. Their lifestyle is shown in the adjacent hall of the Museum by the most valuable finds from the Roman villa in Chatalka site near the city of Stara Zagora (the Roman town of Augusta Traiana).

The two parallel and complementary exhibitions are enriched with additional electronic information and catalogues.

We have prepared an interesting children’s program together with our colleagues from the Louvre Museum and the Easy art Foundation, starting on June 1 – the International Children’s Day.

I hope that the guests of the first Bulgarian museum will enjoy the exhibitions, touching the lives of ancient Romans and Thracians.”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lyudmil Vagalinski
Director of NAIM at BAS

You can see the table of contents of the catalogue here.

Silver from the Louvre. The Boscoreale Treasure. Exhibition Catalogue. Sofia, 2015. NAIM at BAS. ISBN 978-954-9472-40-0.

Годишник на Националния археологически музей