This autumn, Radio 4 and the British Museum embark on their fourth public service partnership exploring the role and expression of beliefs in lives and communities through time and around the world.
Neil MacGregor, former Director of the British Museum, returns to Radio 4 to present this landmark 30-part series, beginning on 23 October 2017.
The British Museum will also present a major exhibition on this theme, opening on 2 November 2017.
Throughout the radio series, Neil draws upon objects and curatorial insights from the British Museum and beyond, with a focus on two or three objects in each programme. As with his last Radio 4 series, the multi-award winning Germany: Memories Of A Nation, Neil also travels to key locations - from experiencing the winter solstice in the ancient passage tomb at Newgrange, Ireland, to the waters of the Ganges in India, from Salisbury Cathedral to the Vatican.
Objects that feature in the series include the Lion-man, a prehistoric ivory sculpture which is determined to be between 35,000 and 40,000 years old; a 1682 noticeboard from Japan, which listed rewards for information on Christian priests, believers and sympathisers; the Lampedusa Cross, made from pieces of a boat that was wrecked off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy in 2013 and the largest silver objects in the world, two silver vessels from Jaipur which were created between 1894 and 1896 for Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II.
Across the series, the focus moves from daily and weekly practices, festivals, pilgrimages and sacrifices, to power struggles and political battles between beliefs, and between faiths and states.Just starting. Sounds right up my alley.