"The Celts the First Europe" is the theme of an exhibition opening in the white Palazzo Grassi on the Grand Canal in Venice on March 24 and continuing until Dec. 8.

It focuses on the people who in the first millenium B.C. spread from their original homes between the Rhine and the Danube as far as Ireland to the west and the Black Sea in the southeast.On display will be more than 2,200 items on loan from 200 museums and collections in 24 European countries - weapons, helmets, fragments of war chariots, jewelry, sculptures and many articles of everyday use.

The 18th-century Palazzo Grassi is on the east side of the Grand Canal close to St. Mark's Square. It was restored a few years ago, and serves as a cultural center financed by the Fiat Motor Company. Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Admission is about $8.90, children $6.60.