The core of the ‘Roman’ collection is formed by the archaeological finds of the Belgian mission in Apamea on the Orontes in what is now Syria.
Besides the spectacular reconstruction of the mid-section of the great colonnade that crosses the city from north to south, there is also a remarkable selection of mosaics that throw light on the many facets of this art form during the fourth and fifth centuries.
The collection also includes numerous idealized marble figures, Roman copies and imitations of famous Greek originals. Various depictions of gods, heroes and other mythological beings date back to Roman collections from Renaissance times. In the portrait gallery, the visitor comes face to face with Romans from various regions of the empire and from a period of more than 500 years; the star attraction here is the rare, monumental, bronze figure of Emperor Septimus Severus.
On the mezzanine floor is a selection of works that give an indication of how the collection has grown over the years. Other items, too, help to paint a fascinating picture of daily life in ancient times.
Crowning the collection, lastly, is the world-famous, monumental model of Rome at the height of her glory and brought to life here by an audiovisual presentation (in five languages).