Treasures of Heaven – Andrew Graham-Dixon lifts the lid on the ancient Christian practice of preserving holy relics and the largely forgotten art form that went with it: the reliquary. Fragments of bone or fabric placed inside a bejewelled shrine, a sculpted golden head or even a life-sized silver hand were, and still are, objects of religious devotion believed to have the power to work miracles. Most precious of all, though, are relics of Jesus Christ and this programme also features three reliquaries containing the holiest of all relics: those associated with His Crucifixion.
The story of relics and reliquaries is a 2,000-year history of faith, persecution and hope, reflected in some of the most beautiful yet little-known works of art ever made. The programme includes interviews with art historian Sister Wendy Beckett; and Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum and the author of A History Of The World In 100 Objects.
Producer: BBC Productions
TX: Spring / Summer 2011
Source: BBC Press Office