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4.7 out of 5 stars37
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 April 2008
How do you pick 80 artefacts, places or things which represent what humans have done over thousands of years? A great deal of in-depth knowledge helps, for a start. Dan Cruickshank certainly has that. This series is the story of how he travelled to 40 countries in search of the treasures on his list. Some are well known: the Taj Mahal; the Parthenon; the Great Wall of China (but no less impressive just because of their fame.) Others are less famous: Leptis Magna in Libya (I knew nothing of this before watching the programme); Angkor Wat in Cambodia; the underground city of Goreme in Turkey. There are surprising choices, too: the Volkswagen Beetle, the Seagram building in New York and the Sydney Harbour bridge. Dan Cruickshank has a distinctive presentation style and his vocal inflexions take a little getting used to but we can forgive him this because of his overwhelming enthusiasm for everything he sees. He interprets the treasures and places them in context for the layman without ever being patronising. If you like to see the world but don't feel you'll ever get to these far flung places, watch this series. It's an astonishing eye-opener.
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The transfer to DVD features all 10 episodes on 4 discs. It's packaged in a single box with two DVDs overlapping on each side + a rather pointless cardboard oversleeve. No extras but there are English subtitles.

Dan Cruickshank is a delightfully gentle presenter and this series features the first serving at the buffet for the world architectural gems and incredible objects that are his passion. It features some fairly well known items- the Taj Mahal, the Parthenon, Machu Pichu, the death mask of Tutankhamun and so on. There are also more surprising items- Inca saltpans which are still in operation, the Samarkand skyline and the rebuilt Bridge at Mostar in Bosnia (signifying a first tentative reconciliation after the Yugoslav war). He doesn't stint on modern objects either- I was most intrigued by the sinister origins of the VW Beetle.

As this represents a staged journey around the world- it's a great guide for adventurous travellers to the less well trodden but accessible world treasures.
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on 23 April 2013
A fabulous series, albeit with perhaps 10-15 choices i would loved to have replaced with my own choice of genuine wonders,leaving out everything he shows in America and including more from India and Russia. How could he simply wander past the Church of the spilled Blood in St Petersburg, Russia, without even a mention??? And yet he fawns over a gun in America, a weapon used to murder innocent Indians. But aside from certain disagreements with the top 80 treasures which is inevitable, it is absolutely fabulous to travel with Dan and to witness his hopeless attempts to haggle in markets in Africa and Samarkand, Uzbekistan,where he is reduced to the role of compliant slave at the mercy of a young girl trader. Always a gentleman, never taking himself too seriously, always thoroughly enthusiastic about his treasures, never pretentious. I saw some gold jewelry in the Hong Kong museum of History and Art that betters some of his choices,and he should perhaps have gone there and stuck 2 fingers up at the shabby treatment he got from the mainlanders in the Reptile republic of China. He could easily have filmed the entire series in Asia and ignored Europe and America, but going around the world forced him not too dwell too long in certain treasure-laden countries,but to hunt for trinkets in the god-forsaken EU zone. And If the Chinese hadn't destroyed so much of the beauty in Tibet,replacing it with brothels for dimwittted soldiers,and disneyland style rides for soulless shopaholic tourists, then we might have seen some even more fabulous treasures from a people whose beauty and dignity shine greater than anything the communists have ever produced.
Five stars for his presentation, the quality of filming and the idea itself,to travel and see objects.One of my favourite series of all time.
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on 22 July 2008
A wonderfully civilised man is our Dan, who introduces you to 80 locations around the planet and conveys much more than treasures as objects, but the more profound search for the ineffable as manifest in the great spiritual yearnings apparent in all cultures except the current phase of dedication to Mammon. The wonderful benefit of a DVD is that you can select the episode or with freeze frame, the image you wish to concentrate upon. This is a five month trip with Dan and his crew, and they don't hang around for the best visual condition or the most optimum bureaucratic benefit of access. This is worth every penny and will provide a crash course in humanity for anyone over 35, hopefully, a few younger persons might like to jump through it for possible adventure locations.
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on 25 July 2009
This is a very intersting and informative DVD. If somebody wishes to travel to exotic places with rich history and mystique , then this DVD will open doors , one's doesn't know it even exists.
I liked the fact , that these treasures are diverse in its origin , location ,and entity .
This DVD made me purchase and look forward to all Dan's features.
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on 4 February 2012
brillant series,put across with such enthusiasm and delight by mr c.sometimes he gets a bit over exicted which only adds to the programme.great scenery and cultures,even the unusual treasures like the chair are put accross with so much interest it draws you in.
credit to dan must have been a punishing schedule.anyway off to find 80 treasures round my home and the first one is =
around the world in 80 treasures dvd.
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on 22 July 2014
I've only very recently discovered Dan Cruickshank when I was browsing through history & arts documentaries on YouTube. I came across clips of Mr Cruickshank's stuff and I found him to be so knowledgeable, interesting, passionate and at the same time, very relaxing to listen to. So I immediately purchased his whole Around the World in 80 Treasures series on DVD from Amazon.

It arrived quickly & I pretty much went on a Dan Cruickshank binge - I watched all 4 discs within 2 days and when I slept, I dreamt of far-off exotic architecture & market places & of beautiful man-made treasures!

This series is so interesting and I will definitely re-watch it, over and over again. So it has been money well spent, in my case! :)
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on 30 September 2013
It was a great decision, you learn a lot and wish you were there. Some of his choices were unusual, though. Dan is sometimes overenthusiastic and I have to admit I didn't like his voice.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 September 2011
Dan Cruickshank began his career with the BBC as consultant, writer and presenter on the architectural programmes, in addition to his being Visiting Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Sheffield and a member of the London faculty of the University of Delaware. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Artists, a member of the Executive Committee of the Georgian Group and on the Architectural Panel of the National Trust and many other positions besides, all related to architecture.

This DVD is from the television series of the same name and his travels are roughly like this:

Peru to Brazil
Mexico to America
Australia to Cambodia
Japan to China
India to Sri Lanka
Uzbekistan to Syria
Jordan to Ethiopia
Mali to Egypt
Turkey to Germany
Bosnia to France and Home

He looks at the way various civilisations have developed through their "treasures" and Dan's quiet, informative and self-effacing style brings them alive once again.

Recommended
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on 27 May 2009
Really this should be called Around the World in 81 Treasures...because Dan Cruickshank himself is a treasure. He is the very model of an eccentric Englishman abroad, revealing in the beauty, the grandeur and sometimes the horrific background to his treasures.
His knowledge is extensive, his enthusiasm boundless. For a whistle-stop tour of the diversity of world culture and yet the desire for beauty and community which bind us as humans - this DVD has it all.
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