The British Museum will bring the daily life of ancient Romans to London next year with the UK's biggest exhibition about Pompeii and Herculaneum for almost four decades.
From next spring, it will display 250 treasures from the two cities destroyed by the catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79.
Neil MacGregor, the museum's director, said it would present "some of the greatest objects" from the preserved sites, including a celebrated fresco of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and the season of spring.
"It is one of the most famous Roman paintings to have survived. Its loan is remarkable,"said Mr MacGregor.
He hopes the exhibition will offer "a new view of Pompeii", with insights into how ordinary people lived at about the time of the eruption. "It will enable the visitor to explore the cities and inside a Roman household. That brings us closer to the people," he added. "They are two provincial cities that have suddenly become immortalised … It is as if suddenly Brighton and Hove were all that are left of modern Britain. That is one of the fascinations: the random selection of two not particularly distinguished places have become the carrier of a whole civilisation."