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Duration: 1 hour

Andrew Graham-Dixon explores 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 the programme also features three reliquaries containing the holiest of all relics - those associated with the 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 and little known works of art ever made. Featuring interviews with art historian Sister Wendy Beckett and Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum.

Last on

Sun 12 Feb 2012 19:00 BBC Four

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  • Photo: Andrew Graham-Dixon

    Photo: Andrew Graham-Dixon

    Presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon with the Holy Thorn Reliquary and the Reliquary Pendant of the Holy Thorn, both from the British Museum Collection.

Credits

Presenter
Andrew Graham-Dixon
Presenter
Andrew Graham-Dixon
Executive Producer
Basil Comely
Executive Producer
Basil Comely
Producer
Paul Tilzey
Producer
Paul Tilzey
Director
Paul Tilzey
Director
Paul Tilzey

Broadcasts

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