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Civilisations On Your Doorstep

In this accompanying programme to Civilisations, Mary Beard goes in search of extraordinary works of art from all over the world that can be seen here in Britain.

From Roman marbles and Egyptian mummies to Renaissance masterpieces and African sculptures, in this special accompanying programme to Civilisations, Mary Beard goes in search of extraordinary works of art from all over the world that can be seen here in Britain.

Investigating the stories behind them - how they were brought here, why and by whom - Mary also asks some deeper questions about what they say about our relationship to the outside world. Starting with the last surviving cabinet of curiosities from the 17th century, Mary then tells the story of how our national collections came together - from their aristocratic beginnings and their subsequent democratisation to a more public 20th-century debate about what these collections represented and who they were for.

Along the way, Mary tackles some of the debates and controversies embedded in the very idea of what 'civilisation' is and asks some fundamental questions - how were our national collections built up? Through purchase or plunder? By collecting the art of the world, were we taking civilisation to others or civilising ourselves? And, most importantly of all, what do our collections tell us about who we are?

59 minutes

Last on

Sun 17 Jun 2018 02:10

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:00

    A Winged Victory for the Sullen

    Atomos XI

  • 00:07

    Alexandre Desplat

    Little Man Oli

  • 00:08

    George Frideric Handel

    Allegro From Concerto Grosso No 12

  • 00:17

    Shigeru Umebayashi

    Bamboo Forest

  • 00:20

    A Winged Victory for the Sullen

    Atmos III

  • 00:26

    Yann Tiersen

    7 Pm

  • 00:33

    John Williams

    Bringing Joey Home, and Bonding

  • 00:36

    Bbc Philharmonic: Terry Davies

    Carnival

  • 00:42

    Kronos Quartet

    And He Remembered Noah

  • 00:44

    Danny Elfman

    Angry Suzie!

Credits

Role Contributor
Director Hugo Macgregor
Executive Producer Denys Blakeway
Executive Producer Richard Bradley
Executive Producer Caterina Turroni
Production Company Lion Television

Broadcasts

  • Sat 28 Apr 2018 21:00
  • Sat 19 May 2018 01:05
  • Sun 17 Jun 2018 02:10
  • Sun 17 Jun 2018 03:05

Civilisations season

Civilisations season

The series and festival exploring thousands of years of visual culture.