Stuff The British Stole

Stuff The British Stole

Throughout its reign, the British Empire stole a lot of stuff. Today those objects are housed in genteel institutions across the UK and the world. They usually come with polite plaques. This is a series about the not-so-polite history behind those objects. Season two is co-produced with CBC Podcasts.

Episodes

June 30, 2022 4 min
Journalist Louisa Lim grew up in Hong Kong, surrounded by traces of a man, known first known as a crank, then an artist, and finally, a most unlikely icon. He called himself the King of Kowloon, and as she followed his trail, she uncovered a legacy of resistance, and found her city anew. Then she lost it forever.
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Looking for another podcast about Australian history? The Fine Cotton Ring In was one of the biggest scandals in Australian horseracing history. A plan to swap a slow horse with a much faster look-alike involved a motley crew of small-time crooks, a couple of horses and a hell of a lot of hair dye. What were they thinking? Dig is a history podcast with a fresh take on an iconic story from Australia's not-so-glorious past.
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November 16, 2021 34 min
It’s become a symbol for extinction; the dodo is a semi-mythical creature which most of us know only through Alice in Wonderland. But one particular dodo was the victim of a crime – murder. Its skull now sits in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. And it holds the clues to a thrilling mystery which illustrates a little-known colonial legacy. Season Two is co-produced with CBC Podcasts.
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November 9, 2021 35 min
Sarah 'Saartjie' Baartman was taken to the UK by a British doctor. But did she know what she was signing up for? Stage-named 'The Hottentot Venus', Sarah was paraded around freak shows in London and Paris. During her life and even after her death, she was objectified, mistreated and abused. More than 200 years after her death, her life story reveals confronting truths about the treatment of black female bodies an...
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November 2, 2021 38 min
In County Cork, Ireland, there’s a tree that locals call the Chalice Tree. Local lore says it’s where British Redcoats disrupted a secret Catholic mass, killed two priests and took a sacred chalice. Now that chalice sits in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. But what happened in the intervening 200 years is now being pieced together by two Irish families: the O’Keeffes and the McAulliffe’s. Season Two is co-produced with CBC...
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October 26, 2021 36 min
They’ve seen wars, the bottom of the ocean and even - bizarrely - been part of a boxing match. The story of how the Parthenon Marbles actually ended up in London’s British Museum is a wild tale featuring bribes, court cases and some extremely dodgy deals.   There’s been a centuries-long campaign to get them back to their homeland. Now, a team of Greek-Australians have decided that the time for diplomacy is over and a new tactic i...
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October 19, 2021 35 min
A war. A ransom. And a stunning recovery mission. Five elaborately carved panels were buried in a New Zealand swamp to protect it from a war. Then 150 years later, they’re acquired by a British collector before being sold to a Swiss-Bolivian collector in Geneva. And their long journey home began when a kidnap ransom payment had to be made. This is the remarkable story of the Motunui Epa. Season Two is co-produced with CBC Podc...
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October 12, 2021 5 min
Have you ever wandered around a museum and thought “How on Earth did all of this stuff get here?” You’re not alone. Throughout its reign, the British Empire stole a lot of stuff. Today those objects are housed in genteel institutions across the UK and the world. They usually come with polite plaques. This podcast tells the stories about the not-so-polite history behind those looted objects. In Season Two, Walkley award-winning h...
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December 19, 2020 32 min
The Gweagal shield is just one of the things James Cook and his shipmates took from the local people when they landed in Botany Bay. Why has it become the most contentious?
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December 12, 2020 28 min
The arrival of Europeans in NZ kicked off a trade in Mokomokai — tattooed heads but these colonial souvenirs have their own complex history.
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December 5, 2020 28 min
Don’t let their fluffy hair and judging eyes fool you, Pekingese dogs are hiding a secret. Their history encompasses torture, hubris, war, and some very long sleeves. Most importantly these dogs — well, one in particular — may hold the key to understanding the sometimes vexed relationship China has with the West.
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November 28, 2020 30 min
What if your doorstop was evidence of brutal mass murder and wholesale theft?
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November 21, 2020 32 min
How a toy tiger became the symbol of a struggle between India and its former British colonisers
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November 12, 2020 3 min
Throughout its reign, the British Empire stole a lot of stuff. Today those objects are housed in genteel institutions across the UK and the world. They usually come with polite plaques. This is a series about the not-so-polite history behind those objects.
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