The British Museum’s Treasures of Heaven exhibition is a must-see for guests staying at 5 star hotels in London.
The exhibition, which is currently on show until Sunday October 9th, showcases an exquisite range of Medieval Christian relics and reliquaries and features some of Europe’s finest sacred treasures of the Middle Ages.
Over 150 objects from more than 40 different institutions, many of which are being shown for the first time, will be on show, allowing art lovers to marvel at their ornate decoration and the impressive craftsmanship that went into creating them.
Objects on display include small portable reliquaries such as a pendant encasing a single holy thorn, to large containers decorated with silver, gold and gems.
Also included in the impressive collection are three thorns that are thought to be from the Crown of Thorns, the rib of St Peter, fragments from the True Cross, the foot of St Blaise, the breast milk of the Virgin Mary and the Mandylion of Edessa, one of the earliest known likenesses of Jesus.
The stunning 12th century bust reliquary of St Baudime from St Nectaire in Auvergne, which once contained a vial of the saint’s blood is shown for the first time in Britain.
Treasures of Heaven will explore both private and public forms of relic worship, as well as the anti-relic movements that gained prominence during the northern European reformation of the 16th century.
The role played by saints’ relics and shrines in the major sites of Christian pilgrimage across Europe during the Middle Ages will also be explored, with particular attention paid to two British saints, St Cuthbert of Durham and St Thomas Beckett of Canterbury.
Relics on display at the exhibition have been drawn from the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and the Sancta Sanctorum – the private papal chapel in the Vatican – among others.