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Neil MacGregor

Robert Neil MacGregor is a British art historian and former museum director and currently the founding director of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin. In 2010, MacGregor presented a series on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service entitled A History of the World in 100 Objects.
Recent episodes featuring Neil MacGregor
National myths with Neil MacGregor
Start the Week
Kirsty Wark explores national stories and myths – from both inside and outside a country’s borders. Neil MacGregor discusses how Dickens, Monty Python and the Suez Crisis have influenced the way Britain is perceived abroad. He visits five different countries to find out which historical events, cultural influences and objects have shaped the way how others see us. The answers may well surprise people back home. Sweden has a strong sense of its own national identity: it boasts the world’s oldest free press and prides itself on its special brand of social democracy. But the journalist Kajsa Norman looks beyond this utopian myth to expose the darkness in the Swedish soul. She reveals what happens to those who dare to dissent from consensus. Japan’s national image abroad is one of staid tradition mixed with bizarre pop culture, and the samurai warrior alongside the grey mass of ‘salarymen’. But the academic Christopher Harding argues there is far more to Japanese society than these enduring clichés. He looks at how Japan has been reinventing itself over the last century and a half, and the often radical and outspoken resistance to conformity. Producer: Katy Hickman
 Around the world with Simon Reeve and Neil MacGregor – books podcast
The Guardian Books podcast
The BBC presenter talks about the travels in his memoir Step By Step, and the celebrated curator reflects on the beliefs explored in Living With the Gods
Neil MacGregor: Living With The Gods
Spectator Books
In this week’s books podcast, Sam talks to the former head honcho of the National Gallery and British Museum, Neil MacGregor, about his new book Living With The Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples. Neil tells the story of the world’s religions through objects — beginning with a 40,000-year-old carving that might be the first human representation of an entirely imaginary object. What do religions have in common? How do you represent icon-averse creeds through physical objects? Why should there be an evolutionary advantage in engaging with the intangible or imaginary? And what does the history of religion tell us about the common threads of humanity? Presented by Sam Leith.
Giles Fraser in conversation with Neil MacGregor
UnHerd Podcasts
Neil MacGregor’s Living with the Gods was an award-winning Radio 4 series, and has now been made into a book of the same title. To bring things full circle, I sat down with him to turn the written word back into the spoken one; we talked about the relationship between art and religion, how religion is a more a way of creating meaning than explaining the universe, and what MacGregor liked to look at in the British Museum when the doors were closed and he was on his own with the keys. After a Calvinist upbringing, where objects are often thought to be a threat to religious faith, MacGregor has come to be the foremost expositor of the rich cultural material produced by religious belief. In our conversation, he ranged widely: from the Cyrus Cylinder to the 40,000 year old Lion Man to the Mummies of Peru, to the decorative pointer, the Yad, with which Plymouth Jews used to read the Torah. It was a real joy to chat with him. Here is the podcast.
Interview with Neil MacGregor
TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities
Neil MacGregor talks about the public engagement at the British Museum. Neil MacGregor talks about his lecture on 'The Fires of Faith', building works at the British Museum, and public engagement.
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Jun 16th, 1946
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 day, 2 hours