The Plastic Venuses: Archaeological Tourism in Post-Modern Society

The Plastic Venuses: Archaeological Tourism in Post-Modern Society

by Marxiano Melotti


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A wooden horse in the archaeological site of Troy, plastic Greek statues on the seabed, resin columns at the Roman Forum, painted copies of Altamira and Lescaux grottos, Tutankhamun's tomb in a casino of Las Vegas, fake Roman fortresses with legionnaires and gladiators, Etruscan vases in a hotel in Milan, Valentino's creations on display in a Roman monument, voyeuristic attractions at Pompeii, ancient and new thermal baths with Roman-style treatments, real Roman wines produced in archaeological sites, and shows, plays of light, cocktails and fashion parades, a lottery for spending winter solstice at Newgrange . . . Museums and archaeological areas host all the contradictions of late modern society. Consumerism, media, advertising and virtual reality transform the relationships between archaeology, tourism, collective imagery and political identity. We are witnesses to the success of archistar museums, event exhibitions, sensorial and virtual tourism, archaeotrekking and archaeodiving, even tourism of the non-existent. Authenticity itself takes on a different meaning when finds and monuments are not original or are exhibited in theme parks, hotels or subway stations. This book is an innovative, critical and stimulating appraisal of the situation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781443828437
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

Marxiano Melotti is Professor of Contemporary History at the Niccolo Cusano University of Rome, Italy; Professor of Archaeological Tourism at the Bicocca University of Milan; and secretary-general of the Foundation for the Institute of Human Sciences in Milan. He investigates the relationships between the ancient and the modern world, with special reference to the discovery, reinvention and valorisation of the past in contemporary societies. His published works include Mediterraneo tra miti e turismo (Milan: Cuem, 2007), Turismo archeologico (Milan: Bruno Mondadori, 2008), and many articles in Italian, English and French.

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