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Atari's buried trash is now an Italian museum's treasure

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Unearthed with great fanfare (and its very own documentary) earlier this year, some of the long-buried collection of E.T. and other Atari game cartridges are getting their first public outing this week at the The Video Game Museum of Rome, a member tells Polygon.

The VIGAMUS, The Video Game Museum of Rome, is the first museum to feature the exhibit pulled from the, some feared, radioactive dump site in Alamogordo, New Mexico. VIGAMUS is the first Italian museum dedicated to interactive games. It was set up in 2013 under the auspices of the Ministry of Arts and Culture and Tourist to preserve, research and show physical and digital works linked to the digital medium.

The exhibit, entitled "E.T. The Fall: Atari Buried Treasures," features items found inside the "Atari Tomb" including E.T., Asteroids, Centipede and Defender cartridges, hardware parts for the Atari VCS console, photos of the dig and a certificate of authenticity provided by the city of Alamogordo.

The exhibit also has large panels which walk visitors through the story of the 1983 video game crash and E.T.'s ties to that crisis. The exhibit, which you can see in the gallery below thanks to photos provided to Polygon from VIGAMUS, runs from Oct. 29.

In September, the Alamogordo city council voted unanimously to approve distribution plans for about 1,300 cartridges unearthed in the dig. The plan included provisions for lending out some of the material to museums around the world, and also selling some on eBay.

Make sure you click on the pictures below to see the full-sized images.