13 episodes

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.

Stuff The British Stole ABC Radio

    • History
    • 4.9 • 636 Ratings

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.

    PRESENTS - Dig: The Ring In

    PRESENTS - Dig: The Ring In

    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.

    • 6 min
    Strange Fowle

    Strange Fowle

    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.

    • 34 min
    Not Your Venus

    Not Your Venus

    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 and how much has, and hasn't, changed.

    Season Two is co-produced with CBC Podcasts.

    • 35 min
    Cup Runneth

    Cup Runneth

    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 Podcasts.

    • 38 min
    Losing Your Marbles

    Losing Your Marbles

    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 is required. 

    Season Two is co-produced with CBC Podcasts.

    • 36 min
    The Abductions

    The Abductions

    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 Podcasts.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
636 Ratings

636 Ratings

MFcreep ,

Fantastic

Well done. Super interesting. Definitely listen to this podcast.

Dksjirfn ,

Fantastic!

I absolutely love this podcast! I recommend it to anyone who will listen. Such interesting stories. I love to see when history is made so accessible! And isn’t everything better with an Australian accent! BTW the The Museum of African Art (a part of the Smithsonian museums) in my hometown is returning several pieces in their collection back to Benin. Had I not listened to your podcast, I would not have understand the importance of that decision and the history behind the pieces, nor the perspectives behind that decision. Thanks for reminding me of the connection between art and culture and history and the Present day. Please make more episodes! Even better, make it a tv show. I’d love to see these artifacts as well!!

d_a_77 ,

So interesting and slightly infuriating

This is one of my new favorite podcasts and is very well done. The stories are incredibly interesting as to the history of these items and how they were acquired by the British empire but the show is also slightly infuriating as you cannot help but feel that a lot of this stuff was like the title says, “stolen”.
I have been to the British Museum and while I found it completely fascinating I also couldn’t help but notice how much of the items came from other cultures and wondered how they got there. This podcast answers that question.

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