A Cabinet Secret

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What's Inside the "Secret Cabinet" at Naples Archaeological Museum?

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A Cabinet Secret by Guy Boothby - Free Ebook

Great Recordings T. Stories from mythology painted on walls were full of sexual encounters, secret trysts, and naughty satyrs. In some ways, this erotica was widely accepted on a level that even modern society would have trouble with, let alone Victorian Europe. The looting of Pompeii began in the late s under the direction of Charles of Bourbon, better known as Charles III of Spain, who was after fashionable antiquities for his private collections. As was common for excavations of the period, frescoes were stripped from the walls, and small decorative objects, pieces of furniture, and statues were removed for safe storage, study, and display elsewhere.


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In , a limited-edition French guide to the collection—with illustrations—began making its way around Europe. In Pompeii itself, metal shutters were installed over erotic paintings, making these 2,year-old images accessible to male tourists for an extra fee. All of this fervor only served to make the collection more famous, and it became a rite of passage for European gentlemen to view the secret collection on their Grand Tours.

Among dozens of stone penises, phallic wind chimes, and naughty mosaics, one item became the most famous: The Goat. This piece de resistance is a detailed carving of a satyr having intercourse with a female goat, her cloven feet pressed up against his chest as she gazes back at him with some fondness. In , the collection was bricked off and remained famously off-limits to women, youngsters, and the general public. For a century and a half, it stayed out of sight, on view only during brief liberal periods under Garibaldi and again in the s.

The Gabinetto Segreto was finally opened to the public in and moved into a separate gallery in When you arrive at the museum, go to the front desk to make an appointment to see the collection. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of Atlas Obscura in your inbox. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic.

Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our privacy policy. View all photos "Venus Kallipygos" - "Venus with the lovely ass. Frisky satyrs. Assorted terra cotta penises, for good luck.

A Cabinet Secret

Hermaphroditus struggles with a satyr, fresco from Pompeii. Mars and Venus. Gabinetto Segreto, Napoli Bhob D Atlas Obscura User. Pan and the goat. Gabinetto Segreto. Fresco of a couple. Joel Cusumano Atlas Obscura User. A vase in Gabinetto Segreto. Top Places in Naples Naples, Italy.


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Skulls from the plague of and World War II bombings are united by a cult dedicated to caring for the ancient dead. Added by Annetta Black. An underground paleo-Christian burial site composed of the remains of several cemeteries and Basilicas.

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Added by Lily Landes. In a city that boasts four separate inclined cable railways, this is one of the busiest funicular lines in the world. Added by RHyzer. Visit Italy with Atlas Obscura Trips. Thanks for subscribing! Community Discussion No Comments Yet.



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