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Treasures of the World casts masterworks of art and nature in the starring roles of some of the most engaging stories of history. Featuring treasures valued beyond price, the television series traces the growing fame of these cultural icons as they brush up against the events and personalities of their time: tales of mishap and madness, inspiration and intrigue, devotion and discovery.

The stories weave dramatized events with evocative archival images and insights from collectors and curators. Each of these great treasures is a masterpiece of singular beauty and artistry; each has shaped aesthetic sensibilities or epitomized the achievements of an era. Six treasures are presented in three one-hour programs:




Program One, paintings of legendary status:

Moan Lisa
Theft of the Mona Lisa

On August 21st, 1911, someone stole the most famous painting in the world from the Louvre. In the investigation that followed, police combed every inch of the famous museum, and some rather unusual suspects were called into question. But the mystery of the lady's disappearance would remain unsolved for two years. As the story unfolds, so does a greater appreciation of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece.


detail from Guernica
Guernica: Testimony of War

Pablo Picasso was reluctant to mix art and politics. But in 1937, atrocities perpetrated by Franco on the small Basque village of Guernica during Spain's civil war changed all that. Picasso's Guernica is one of this century's most unsettling indictments of war. Revealing photographs of the work in progress lend insight into Picasso's creative process and his struggle between artistic merit and political imagery, as circumstances transform the stark canvas into a flag of freedom and democracy.



Program Two, jeweled reflections of destiny:

Liliy of the Valley Faberge Egg
The Fabergé Eggs:
Mementos of a Doomed Dynasty


Of the Romanov family, only the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna would escape assassination at the hands of Russian revolutionaries. With her she brought the last Fabergé Egg she would ever receive from her son Nicholas, once Czar of all the Russias. The Order of St. George Egg is one of fifty Imperial Easter Eggs crafted by master jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé, inspired by the joys and achievements of a family at the crossroads of history.

Evalyn Walsh McLean wearing Hope Diamond
The Notorious Hope Diamond

It is the rarest of stones... But that's not the only thing that fascinated Evalyn Walsh McLean, the spoiled young heiress with a multi-million-dollar fortune and a taste for jewelry – expensive jewelry. The Hope Diamond came with a curse, and the story of this stone is a leap into the hands of fate, as the eccentric and flamboyant Evalyn becomes ensnared in its notorious past.




Program Three, monumental visions of devotion:

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal: Memorial to Love

Said to be the most perfect building in the world, India's Taj Mahal immortalizes one man's love for his wife and the splendor of the Mughal era. What passion burned in the heart of this man known as King of the World! What riches were spent to command resources from as far as Baghdad and the Ottoman courts of Turkey, as twenty thousand artisans labored more than twenty years to build his vision of Paradise!


scene from Borobudur
Borobudur: Pathway to Enlightenment

On the island of Java stands a mountain of a thousand statues, surrounded by volcanoes, once shrouded in mystery. In 1814, an expedition was sent to reclaim the monument from the jungle, and scholars soon recognized it as the largest Buddhist temple in the world. But events following its rediscovery placed Borobudur's very existence in peril, and it would take unprecedented international cooperation to save this treasure from destruction...



Mona Lisa
detail from Guernica
Lilies of the Valley Faberge Egg
Hope Diamond
Taj Mahal
scene from Borobudur

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