(ANSAmed) - ROME, FEBRUARY 25 - Three exhibitions on ancient Egypt and its influences in Italy will be opening in Italy this year as part of a larger project to showcase relations between the two countries through the centuries.

The first will be in Turin, in the 600 square meters of the Museo Egizio's first floor that has just be reopened to the public. Some 330 finds, from refined frescoes of Pompeii to three entirely reconstructed tombs, will from March 5 be showcasing the loves, fashions and in some cases the obsessions of the Classical world, fascinated as it was with the culture of nearby Egypt. From April 16, the newly reopened areas of Pompeii's Palestra Grande will once again be filled with Egyptian statues, and new routes will lead visitors to the discovery of the Temple of Isis and the many domus (residences), such as that of Loreius Tiburtinus, where luxury was expressed through 'Egyptian-style' decoration. The National Archaeological Museum of Naples will also be reopening its Egyptian collection to the public on October 8. Spread out between Turin, Pompeii and Naples and the first step of a new, joint research project between the three institutions, the project - 'Egitto Pompei' - will showcase influxes and spiritual, social, political and artistic influences from cults and fashions born in or that transited through Egypt. ''This is only the first step of a much longer plan to show what the relationship between Italy and Egypt'' has been throughout the centuries, Museo Egizio director Christian Greco said, as well as ''the beginning of collaboration between different cultural bodies that we would like to see continue'', Fondazione Egizio president Evelina Christillin added.

''This is proof,'' Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said, ''that three institutions can build a project of international appeal that is important for scholars as well as acting as a tourist attraction.'' (ANSAmed).