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A History of the World - 10 objects from the Isle of Man. 18 January 2010

The BBC, Manx National Heritage and The Leece Museum have revealed the list of 10 objects they have chosen to tell a history of the Isle of Man and its place in the world.

The list of 10 objects can be seen on the BBC Local site for the Isle of Man, www.bbc.co.uk/isleofman and all the objects are on display at the Manx Museum, Douglas; the Leece Museum and Andreas Church.

The list of 10 objects for the Isle of Man is part of the wider A History of the World project formed out of a unique partnership between the BBC, the British Museum and 350 museums and institutions across the country.

Director of Manx National Heritage, Edmund Southworth, said: “This project is a really good opportunity to not only put the Isle of Man’s history in a wider spotlight, but also for us to start thinking about what are the most important touchstones of Manx history and why. We often use these pieces of the past to illustrate historical events or changes, but sometimes they are just as important for their own sake. Like our own possessions, some things are more valuable, more important or more emotive than others. We hope that by publicising what we think the most important physical objects left to the Island by people in the past are, others will add their own thoughts.”

Listeners and viewers will be asked to suggest further objects and can actively participate by uploading photographs of their own objects that have a local or global appeal. At the end of February 2010 it is hoped that each BBC Local website will have an additional “People’s 10 Objects” telling the history of their region and its global connections.

Manx National Heritage will be holding events in February half-term at the Manx Museum to celebrate A History of the World. There will be Curator-accompanied tours of the objects on display and a chance to give your ideas on what would be in your top 10 list of objects.

The list of 10 objects that have been chosen are:

  • Pagan lady's necklace This thousand year old necklace displays the high status of females in the Viking world and challenges perceptions of the woman’s role in a traditionally male society.
  • Kirk Michael hoard The Kirk Michael hoard is a large collection of mixed coinage and scrap silver. It shows that the Isle of Man was a centre for trade throughout the Viking world during the 11th century AD.
  • Thorwald's Cross Pagan imagery on one side of this thousand year old carved stone gives way to Christian imagery on the other.
  • The Sword of State The symbol of the oldest continuous parliament in the world which stretches back over one thousand years.
  • Wooden Transport Crate This crate from 1949 contained two sets of fragile 12-inch acetate discs which held over five hours of rare recordings of the voices of some of the last native Manx language speakers.
  • Peter Heywood's dirk Peter Heywood's ‘dirk’ represents the role of Manx people in the Mutiny on the Bounty on 28 April 1789.
  • Royal Marines Badge, HMS Racehorse The effects of the sinking of HMS Racehorse in December 1822 led to the creation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
  • Archibald Knox clock This work by an internationally-renowned Manx artist is symbolic of Celtic Revival art in the early 1900s.
  • Knockaloe Bone Vases These beautifully carved cattle bone vases from the First World War illustrate the role of the Isle of Man in housing internment camps for “enemy aliens” in both world wars.
  • Hailwood Suzuki Britain’s greatest motorcyclist and the most dominant world power in motorbike manufacture. Mike Hailwood won his 14th and final TT race on this Suzuki motorcycle.

Please see www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld for more information on the project.

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