It is more than a decade since Neil MacGregor gave his highly entertaining series of radio talks, A History of the World in 100 Objects. He demonstrated with incisive brilliance how individual treasures – both famous and obscure – can shed light on the past.
Taking inspiration from his remarkable achievement, we at Telegraph Travel began to ponder how objects can also give us insights into the habits, preoccupations and cultures of the people and places we experience when we travel. So, to start the New Year, we have developed our own version of MacGregor’s idea. We have gone for 80 objects rather than 100 – it seems a more resonant number for a tour around the world. But we have drawn our parameters as widely and we will try to cover as many destinations as we can in the coming weeks and months.
What constitutes an object? We don’t want to be too prescriptive. It might have a practical use or be decorative; it might be ancient or new, big or small. Some objects may be prized museum exhibits, others for everyday use. We want to choose things which are rich in associations, which touch on key moments of history and culture. We also have to be realistic. One object can’t capture the spirit of an entire place. How could you sum up London, or Moscow, or Delhi? Our aim instead is to have some fun, to find examples which will spark a traveller’s imagination. Read from source….