Museum Of Lost Objects, The [world Service]

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01Palmyra - The Documentary2016081320160817 (WS)
20160814 (WS)

The story and destruction of the Temple of Bel,Mar Elian and the Lion of al-Lat

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

In May 2015, the Syrian city of Palmyra was captured by the forces of the so-called Islamic State. Few of the group's excesses have won as much attention as their ravaging of the city. They have waged a campaign of violence against the local population, and they systematically destroyed many of the city's great monuments, including the 2,000 year old Temple of Bel; the Lion of al-Lat, an ancient sculpture of a protective spirit; and the nearby shrine of Mar Elian in the Syrian desert that was beloved by both Christian and Muslim communities for hundreds of years.

The three-part series, the Museum of Lost Objects, traces the histories of ten lost treasures through the stories of people who knew and loved them. From sculptures and shrines to tombs and temples, we explore how these ancient treasures have remained present in the lives of Iraqis and Syrians right up to this grim modern era of destruction. What you’ll hear is a recreation of sorts: these places and objects reimagined through local legends, histories and extraordinary personal stories. Think of it as a virtual Museum of Lost Objects; its curator is the history-obsessed writer, Kanishk Tharoor.

Picture: The Temple of Bel, Credit: Getty Images

The story and destruction of the Temple of Bel,Mar Elian and the Lion of al-Lat

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

In May 2015, the Syrian city of Palmyra was captured by the forces of the so-called Islamic State. Few of the group's excesses have won as much attention as their ravaging of the city. They have waged a campaign of violence against the local population, and they systematically destroyed many of the city's great monuments, including the 2,000 year old Temple of Bel; the Lion of al-Lat, an ancient sculpture of a protective spirit; and the nearby shrine of Mar Elian in the Syrian desert that was beloved by both Christian and Muslim communities for hundreds of years.

The three-part series, the Museum of Lost Objects, traces the histories of ten lost treasures through the stories of people who knew and loved them. From sculptures and shrines to tombs and temples, we explore how these ancient treasures have remained present in the lives of Iraqis and Syrians right up to this grim modern era of destruction. What you’ll hear is a recreation of sorts: these places and objects reimagined through local legends, histories and extraordinary personal stories. Think of it as a virtual Museum of Lost Objects; its curator is the history-obsessed writer, Kanishk Tharoor.

Picture: The Temple of Bel, Credit: Getty Images

01The Documentary2016081420160817 (WS)
20160818 (WS)

The story and destruction of the Temple of Bel,Mar Elian and the Lion of al-Lat

In May 2015, the Syrian city of Palmyra was captured by the forces of the so-called Islamic State. Few of the group's excesses have won as much attention as their ravaging of the city. They have waged a campaign of violence against the local population, and they systematically destroyed many of the city's great monuments, including the 2,000 year old Temple of Bel; the Lion of al-Lat, an ancient sculpture of a protective spirit; and the nearby shrine of Mar Elian in the Syrian desert that was beloved by both Christian and Muslim communities for hundreds of years.

The three-part series, the Museum of Lost Objects, traces the histories of ten lost treasures through the stories of people who knew and loved them. From sculptures and shrines to tombs and temples, we explore how these ancient treasures have remained present in the lives of Iraqis and Syrians right up to this grim modern era of destruction. What you’ll hear is a recreation of sorts: these places and objects reimagined through local legends, histories and extraordinary personal stories. Think of it as a virtual Museum of Lost Objects; its curator is the history-obsessed writer, Kanishk Tharoor.

Picture: The Temple of Bel, Credit: Getty Images

02Bombed And Bulldozed In Syria - The Documentary2016082020160824 (WS)
20160821 (WS)

"Archaeology is supposed to be fun and apolitical...but none of this is now"

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Archaeologists like Jesse Casana have lived and worked on sites throughout Syria for years. He describes his feelings about the fate of friends and colleagues left behind. The excavation at Tell Qarqur that he oversaw before the war has now been bulldozed, but he says, "It seems like a fairly small concern compared to the human tragedy unfolding before our eyes."

Tell Qarqur is not the only monument of archaeological interest that has been destroyed. The statue of an 11th Century Arabic poet, atheist and vegetarian, al-Ma'arri, was decapitated by Islamic militants in 2013. And, Aleppo, thought to be the oldest city in the world, is now in ruins. Its sights are remembered fondly by the people who lived there including the elegant, 1000 year old minaret of the Great Mosque destroyed in April 2013.

(Photo: A Syrian rebel fighter points to destruction in the Great Mosque complex, Aleppo. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

"Archaeology is supposed to be fun and apolitical...but none of this is now"

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Archaeologists like Jesse Casana have lived and worked on sites throughout Syria for years. He describes his feelings about the fate of friends and colleagues left behind. The excavation at Tell Qarqur that he oversaw before the war has now been bulldozed, but he says, "It seems like a fairly small concern compared to the human tragedy unfolding before our eyes."

Tell Qarqur is not the only monument of archaeological interest that has been destroyed. The statue of an 11th Century Arabic poet, atheist and vegetarian, al-Ma'arri, was decapitated by Islamic militants in 2013. And, Aleppo, thought to be the oldest city in the world, is now in ruins. Its sights are remembered fondly by the people who lived there including the elegant, 1000 year old minaret of the Great Mosque destroyed in April 2013.

(Photo: A Syrian rebel fighter points to destruction in the Great Mosque complex, Aleppo. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

02The Documentary2016082120160824 (WS)
20160825 (WS)

Archaeologists like Jesse Casana have lived and worked on sites throughout Syria for years. He describes his feelings about the fate of friends and colleagues left behind. The excavation at Tell Qarqur that he oversaw before the war has now been bulldozed, but he says, "It seems like a fairly small concern compared to the human tragedy unfolding before our eyes."

Tell Qarqur is not the only monument of archaeological interest that has been destroyed. The statue of an 11th Century Arabic poet, atheist and vegetarian, al-Ma'arri, was decapitated by Islamic militants in 2013. And, Aleppo, thought to be the oldest city in the world, is now in ruins. Its sights are remembered fondly by the people who lived there including the elegant, 1000 year old minaret of the Great Mosque destroyed in April 2013.

(Photo: A Syrian rebel fighter points to destruction in the Great Mosque complex, Aleppo. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

"Archaeology is supposed to be fun and apolitical...but none of this is now"

03Looted In Iraq - The Documentary2016082720160831 (WS)
20160828 (WS)

The treasures that have been destroyed or looted during the wars in Iraq and Syria

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Kanishk Tharoor goes on the murky trail of the missing Genie of Nimrud – a huge, 3,000-year-old carved figure that once protected a palace. It disappeared about 20 years ago, only to re-emerge in London and since 2002, it has been languishing in police vaults at Scotland Yard; the Winged-Bull of Nineveh was an Assyrian sculpture that guarded the gates of one of the most fabled cities in antiquity – it was destroyed by IS when they took the northern Iraqi city of Mosul; and a looted Sumerian seal that depicted a Goddess so mighty that she made her chair out of a man. This is the smallest and oldest object in our Museum. It was stolen in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and has still never been found.

(Photo: Assyrian winged-genie from Nimrud, very similar in style to the genie in possession of Scotland Yard. Credit:Brooklyn Museum)

The treasures that have been destroyed or looted during the wars in Iraq and Syria

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Kanishk Tharoor goes on the murky trail of the missing Genie of Nimrud – a huge, 3,000-year-old carved figure that once protected a palace. It disappeared about 20 years ago, only to re-emerge in London and since 2002, it has been languishing in police vaults at Scotland Yard; the Winged-Bull of Nineveh was an Assyrian sculpture that guarded the gates of one of the most fabled cities in antiquity – it was destroyed by IS when they took the northern Iraqi city of Mosul; and a looted Sumerian seal that depicted a Goddess so mighty that she made her chair out of a man. This is the smallest and oldest object in our Museum. It was stolen in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and has still never been found.

(Photo: Assyrian winged-genie from Nimrud, very similar in style to the genie in possession of Scotland Yard. Credit:Brooklyn Museum)

03The Documentary2016082820160831 (WS)
20160901 (WS)

The treasures that have been destroyed or looted during the wars in Iraq and Syria

Kanishk Tharoor goes on the murky trail of the missing Genie of Nimrud – a huge, 3,000-year-old carved figure that once protected a palace. It disappeared about 20 years ago, only to re-emerge in London and since 2002, it has been languishing in police vaults at Scotland Yard; the Winged-Bull of Nineveh was an Assyrian sculpture that guarded the gates of one of the most fabled cities in antiquity – it was destroyed by IS when they took the northern Iraqi city of Mosul; and a looted Sumerian seal that depicted a Goddess so mighty that she made her chair out of a man. This is the smallest and oldest object in our Museum. It was stolen in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and has still never been found.

(Photo: Assyrian winged-genie from Nimrud, very similar in style to the genie in possession of Scotland Yard. Credit:Brooklyn Museum)

04Return To Aleppo - The Documentary2017061020170611 (WS)

One man\u2019s extraordinary quest to find out what became of his home in Aleppo\u2019s old town.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

The story of one neighbourhood in Aleppo, and how it changed the lives of two Syrians caught up in the war.

Zahed Tajeddin is a sculptor and archaeologist whose family have lived in Aleppo for generations. He owned a beautiful medieval courtyard house in a neighbourhood called Judaydah, part of the city's historic centre. But Zahed was forced to abandon his house in 2012, when Judaydah became a battleground between government forces and rebel fighters. He makes the emotional and dangerous journey to see whether his home survived the conflict.

Abu Ahmed is a pharmacist who set up Judaydah's only medical centre. He stayed in Aleppo throughout the conflict, giving first aid, medicines and comfort to the local residents. He was one of the last people to flee rebel-held Aleppo after the government advance in December 2016.

Also, what is left of the ancient citadels of northern Iraq? Nimrud is a 3,000 year old site blown up by the so-called Islamic State. The Iraqi archaeologist Muzahim Hossein spent 30 years excavating there and he goes back for the first time to see what remains. And the story of one Iraqi family who grew up with the temples and talismans of the beautiful, fabled city of Hatra.

Image credit: Zahed Tajeddin

One man\u2019s extraordinary quest to find out what became of his home in Aleppo\u2019s old town.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

The story of one neighbourhood in Aleppo, and how it changed the lives of two Syrians caught up in the war.

Zahed Tajeddin is a sculptor and archaeologist whose family have lived in Aleppo for generations. He owned a beautiful medieval courtyard house in a neighbourhood called Judaydah, part of the city's historic centre. But Zahed was forced to abandon his house in 2012, when Judaydah became a battleground between government forces and rebel fighters. He makes the emotional and dangerous journey to see whether his home survived the conflict.

Abu Ahmed is a pharmacist who set up Judaydah's only medical centre. He stayed in Aleppo throughout the conflict, giving first aid, medicines and comfort to the local residents. He was one of the last people to flee rebel-held Aleppo after the government advance in December 2016.

Also, what is left of the ancient citadels of northern Iraq? Nimrud is a 3,000 year old site blown up by the so-called Islamic State. The Iraqi archaeologist Muzahim Hossein spent 30 years excavating there and he goes back for the first time to see what remains. And the story of one Iraqi family who grew up with the temples and talismans of the beautiful, fabled city of Hatra.

Image credit: Zahed Tajeddin

05The Necklace That Divided Two Nations - The Documentary2017071520170719 (WS)
20170716 (WS)

India and Pakistan's tussle for Indus Valley antiquities after partition

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Seventy years ago, India and Pakistan became independent nations - but at a cost. People and lands were partitioned, and a once shared heritage was broken apart. Kanishk Tharoor explores artefacts and landmarks that were caught up in the events around 1947.

Part one looks at the tussle for ancient history, including the prized artefacts of the Indus Valley civilization. There was a bureaucratic saga over the fates of the priest-king, the dancing girl, and the jade necklace so precious to both India and Pakistan that neither country could let the other have it whole. And in part two, the conflict in Kashmir told through the life and times of a burnt-out movie theatre - Srinagar’s Palladium cinema.

Produced by Maryam Maruf

Contributors: Maruf Khwaja; Saroj Mukherji; Vazira Fazila-Yacoubali Zamindar, Brown University; Sudeshna Guha, Shiv Nadar University; Krishna Mishri; Imtiyaz; and Neerja Mattoo

With thanks to Anwesha Sengupta, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata; and Andrew Whitehead

Image: The Mohenjo Daro jade necklace that was cut in two. India's share on the left, Pakistan's share on the right. Credit: Archaeological Survey of India and Getty Images

India and Pakistan's tussle for Indus Valley antiquities after partition

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Seventy years ago, India and Pakistan became independent nations - but at a cost. People and lands were partitioned, and a once shared heritage was broken apart. Kanishk Tharoor explores artefacts and landmarks that were caught up in the events around 1947.

Part one looks at the tussle for ancient history, including the prized artefacts of the Indus Valley civilization. There was a bureaucratic saga over the fates of the priest-king, the dancing girl, and the jade necklace so precious to both India and Pakistan that neither country could let the other have it whole. And in part two, the conflict in Kashmir told through the life and times of a burnt-out movie theatre - Srinagar’s Palladium cinema.

Produced by Maryam Maruf

Contributors: Maruf Khwaja; Saroj Mukherji; Vazira Fazila-Yacoubali Zamindar, Brown University; Sudeshna Guha, Shiv Nadar University; Krishna Mishri; Imtiyaz; and Neerja Mattoo

With thanks to Anwesha Sengupta, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata; and Andrew Whitehead

Image: The Mohenjo Daro jade necklace that was cut in two. India's share on the left, Pakistan's share on the right. Credit: Archaeological Survey of India and Getty Images

06Delhi's Stolen Seat Of Power - The Documentary2017072220170726 (WS)
20170723 (WS)

The creation and capture of Mughal India\u2019s coveted Peacock Throne

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Seventy years ago, India and Pakistan became independent nations - but at a cost. People and lands were partitioned, and a once shared heritage was broken apart.

In part one, Kanishk Tharoor stretches back to stories of empire well before British rule, and looks at how narratives of conquest and loss still have a powerful hold over South Asians. There’s the spectacular creation - and destruction - of the famed Peacock Throne of the Mughal emperors. It took seven years to make, and seven elephants to cart it away forever. And the forgotten world of the Kushan empire in Pakistan, ruled over by the magnificent King Kanishka. We explore the mystery of what happened to his little bronze box that was said to hold the remains of the Buddha himself.

Part two delves into the histories of artefacts and landmarks linked to two of the greatest figures in modern South Asian history – Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and Rabindranath Tagore, the celebrated Bengali writer. Ziarat Residency, the beautiful sanatorium where Jinnah spent the last three months of his life. Four years ago, it was fire-bombed and burnt to the ground by Balochi insurgents. And Tagore’s Nobel Prize Medal. In 1913, Tagore made history by becoming the first non-westerner to win a Nobel award. But just over 10 years ago, the medal was stolen – and still hasn’t been found.

(Image: Persian ruler Nadir Shah on the Peacock Throne after his victory over the Mughals Credit: Alamy)

The creation and capture of Mughal India\u2019s coveted Peacock Throne

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Seventy years ago, India and Pakistan became independent nations - but at a cost. People and lands were partitioned, and a once shared heritage was broken apart.

In part one, Kanishk Tharoor stretches back to stories of empire well before British rule, and looks at how narratives of conquest and loss still have a powerful hold over South Asians. There’s the spectacular creation - and destruction - of the famed Peacock Throne of the Mughal emperors. It took seven years to make, and seven elephants to cart it away forever. And the forgotten world of the Kushan empire in Pakistan, ruled over by the magnificent King Kanishka. We explore the mystery of what happened to his little bronze box that was said to hold the remains of the Buddha himself.

Part two delves into the histories of artefacts and landmarks linked to two of the greatest figures in modern South Asian history – Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and Rabindranath Tagore, the celebrated Bengali writer. Ziarat Residency, the beautiful sanatorium where Jinnah spent the last three months of his life. Four years ago, it was fire-bombed and burnt to the ground by Balochi insurgents. And Tagore’s Nobel Prize Medal. In 1913, Tagore made history by becoming the first non-westerner to win a Nobel award. But just over 10 years ago, the medal was stolen – and still hasn’t been found.

(Image: Persian ruler Nadir Shah on the Peacock Throne after his victory over the Mughals Credit: Alamy)