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Society & Culture
History

Museum of Lost Objects

Updated about 1 month ago

Society & Culture
History
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Tracing the histories of antiquities and landmarks that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria, India and Pakistan.

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Tracing the histories of antiquities and landmarks that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria, India and Pakistan.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
20
4
0
0
0

Amazing Podcast!

By Ziggy48183 - Jul 26 2017
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A beautiful show. A welcome alternative to simple catagorizations from the news and state, the authors take us into the personal stories associated with Iraq, Syria, and other locations touched by recent upheaval. The stories helpfully complicate the western listener's concept of lands and people often misunderstood.

Thank you

By morganfitzp - Mar 05 2016
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Another great thing from Radio 4.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
20
4
0
0
0

Amazing Podcast!

By Ziggy48183 - Jul 26 2017
Read more
A beautiful show. A welcome alternative to simple catagorizations from the news and state, the authors take us into the personal stories associated with Iraq, Syria, and other locations touched by recent upheaval. The stories helpfully complicate the western listener's concept of lands and people often misunderstood.

Thank you

By morganfitzp - Mar 05 2016
Read more
Another great thing from Radio 4.
Cover image of Museum of Lost Objects

Museum of Lost Objects

Latest release on Jun 23, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

Rank #1: Looted Sumerian Seal, Baghdad

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The Museum of Lost Objects traces the histories of 10 antiquities or cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria.

This is the oldest and smallest object in the series: a tiny Sumerian cylinder seal depicting a harvest festival. It was carved in 2,600 BC and was part of the collection of ancient cylinder seals which disappeared when the Iraq Museum in Baghdad was looted during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. We tell the story of this seal and the pillaging of the country's most important museum.

Contributors: Lamia al-Gailani, SOAS; Mazin Safar, son of Iraqi archaeologist Fuad Safar; John Curtis, Iran Heritage Foundation

Presenter: Kanishk Tharoor
Producer: Maryam Maruf

Picture: Sumerian harvest seal
Credit: Lamia al-Gailani

With thanks to Augusta McMahon of Cambridge University, Mark Altaweel of the Institute of Archaeology UCL, and Sarah Collins of the British Museum.

Mar 07 2016

14mins

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Rank #2: Armenian Martyr's Memorial, Der Zor

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The Museum of Lost Objects traces the histories of 10 antiquities or cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria.

The Armenian martyr's memorial in Der Zor, Syria was a tribute to the Armenians who perished in the mass killings of 1915. It was consecrated in 1991 and then completely destroyed in 2014 by Islamic militants. A British Armenian writer recalls her visits to Der Zor, and tracing the harrowing journey of her ancestors through the Syrian desert.

Contributors: Nouritza Matossian, writer; Heghnar Watenpaugh, University of California Davis

Presenter: Kanishk Tharoor
Producer: Maryam Maruf

Picture: Armenian Martyr's Memorial, Der Zor

With thanks to Elyse Semerdjian of Whitman College.

Mar 07 2016

14mins

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Rank #3: Nimrud and Hatra

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Nimrud is a 3,000 year old archaeological 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.
Including contributions from Layla Salih, Nineveh Heritage Buildings; Alessandra Peruzzetto, World Monuments Fund; and Watha Saleh.
Presented by Kanishk Tharoor

Produced by Maryam Maruf

With thanks to Eleanor Robson, Lamia al-Gailani, Ali Juboori, Mehdi Musawi, Faisal Irshaid, Lucinda Dirven and Roberta Venca.
Museum of Lost Objects series two is broadcast on BBC World Service.
Image: Gorgon head in Hatra Credit: Getty Images

Jun 10 2017

28mins

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Rank #4: The Necklace That Divided Two Nations

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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 the tussle for ancient history and 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.
Presented by Kanishk Tharoor

Produced by Maryam Maruf
Contributors: Maruf Khwaja; Saroj Mukherji; Vazira Fazila-Yacoubali Zamindar, Brown University; Sudeshna Guha, Shiv Nadar University
With thanks to Anwesha Sengupta, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata
Museum of Lost Objects series two is broadcast on BBC World Service.
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

Jul 15 2017

22mins

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Rank #5: Kashmir’s Palladium cinema

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Kanishk Tharoor explores artefacts and landmarks caught up in India and Pakistan's independence in 1947. In this episode, the life and times of the Palladium cinema.
The Palladium was one of Srinagar’s oldest and most popular movie theatres. It was on Lal Chowk, a square in the heart of the city. From the 1940s, the building was the backdrop to many of Kashmir's major political events. Today it stands in ruins, an unexpected casualty of the ongoing conflict, and now, there are no public cinemas left in Srinagar.
Presented by Kanishk Tharoor

Produced by Maryam Maruf
Contributors: Krishna Mishri; Imtiyaz; and Neerja Mattoo
With thanks to Andrew Whitehead
Museum of Lost Objects series two is broadcast on BBC World Service.
Image: Cadets during a National Conference rally at Lal Chowk, Srinagar 1944 Credit: India Picture

Jul 18 2017

29mins

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Rank #6: Quick update on the next season

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Coming back to your airwaves soon!

May 24 2017

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Rank #7: Return to Aleppo

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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.

Presented by Kanishk Tharoor
Produced by Maryam Maruf

With thanks to Elyse Semerdjian, Mustafa Abu Sneineh, Mehdi Musawi, Dr Hatem and Emily Webb.

Image: A courtyard house in Judaydah. Credit: Getty Images.

Jun 10 2017

27mins

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Rank #8: The Cricketer Who Lost His Team

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Bonus pod! Amir Elahi, the great uncle of Columbia University historian Manan Ahmed, became rivals with his former Indian teammates when he left for Pakistan.
Image: Amir Elahi and Dattaram Hindlekar, members of the All-India cricket team, 1936

Credit: Getty Images

Jul 21 2017

3mins

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Rank #9: The Genie of Nimrud

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The Museum of Lost Objects traces the histories of 10 antiquities or cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria.

The ancient Assyrians were fond of protective spirits. They had sculptures of all manner of mythological creatures lining the walls of their palaces. One such sculpture was a stone relief of a genie. This was a powerful male figure - a bountiful beard and muscular thighs but with huge wings sprouting from his back. Three thousand years ago, it adorned the walls of Nimrud, one of the great strongholds of Mesopotamia, near Mosul in modern day Iraq. During the 1990s, this genie disappeared - believed to have been taken during the chaos of the first Gulf war - and ended up in London around 2002 - just before the mire of the second Gulf war. It's been kept by Scotland Yard for these last 14 years - locked in legal limbo, and unlikely to ever re-emerge or return to Iraq. We explore the cost of looting to a country's cultural heritage, and tell the story of another valuable Mesopotamian antiquity that was looted, eventually uncovered, but managed to stay in Iraq. This is a tablet, and holds a new chapter from the oldest tale ever told - the Gilgamesh epic.

Contributors: Mark Altaweel, Institute of Archaeology UCL; Augusta McMahon, University of Cambridge; Mina al-Lami, BBC Monitoring; the readings are by Martin Worthington, George Watkins, and Susan Jameson

Presenter: Kanishk Tharoor
Producer: Maryam Maruf

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

With thanks to Vernon Rapley of the V&A, Sarah Collins of the British Museum, Andrew George of SOAS, and John Russell of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Mar 07 2016

15mins

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Rank #10: Al-Ma'arri the Poet

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The Museum of Lost Objects traces the histories of 10 antiquities or cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria.

In 2013, Islamic militants decapitated the statue of an 11th Century Arabic poet that stood in his hometown of Maarat al-Nu'man, a city that's seen heavy fighting during the Syrian conflict. The poet al-Ma'arri was one of the most revered in Syria, and poetry enthusiasts tell his story - he was blind, vegetarian, atheist, and some even claim that his work inspired Dante's Divine Comedy.

Contributors: Nasser Rabbat, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Mahmoud al-Sheikh, BBC Arabic; the reading is by Susan Jameson

Presenter: Kanishk Tharoor
Producer: Maryam Maruf

Picture: Statue of al-Ma'arri with the sculptor Fathi Mohammed in the 1940s, and the statue after its decapitation in 2013.

Mar 07 2016

13mins

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