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Ever thought Canberra lacked the orgies, bloodsports of ancient Rome?

There’s also the stories of women, really remarkable women. It will also feature the stories of ordinary people: the slaves, the children, the people of all walks of life.”

While the collection will arrive readily curated by the British Museum, Dr Withycombe notes she and her team have worked to “give the exhibition more of a local face”.

Aside from a healthy dose of political backstabbing and a few triumphant displays of phallic architecture, what could Canberra and Rome possibly have in common? Not a great deal, it turns out.

Yet the exhibition has fused the powerful Roman legacy and a bit of Aussie flair, with Richard Fidler narrating an immersive audio experience which also features other local voice actors.

To herald the sophistication to come, the museum will launch ticket sales on Friday, July 13 – or July XIII, for the history buffs who might notice it’s coincidentally Caesar’s birthday – with an opulent gold-leaf cake.

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