Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe at the British Museum

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LONDON.- This major exhibition brings together for the first time some of the finest sacred treasures of the medieval age. It features over 150 objects drawn from more than 40 institutions including the Vatican, European church treasuries, museums from the USA and Europe and the British Museum’s own pre-eminent collection. It was during the medieval period that the use of relics in devotional practice first developed and became a central part of Christian worship. For many, the relics of Christ and the saints – objects associated with them, such as body parts or possessions – continue to provide a bridge between heaven and earth today. Relics were usually set into ornate containers of silver and gold known as reliquaries, opulently decorated by the finest craftsmen of the age. They had spiritual and symbolic value that reflected the importance of their sacred contents. The earliest items date from the late