A six-part series for , CICC, HISTORY International and UK, and the Singapore MDA. Produced in association with Blink and Oak 3. Distributed by BBC Worldwide.
This fast-paced series, goes behind the scenes at 6 of the world’s greatest monuments to follow the highs and lows of the army of workers restoring them to full splendour. Each film combines stunning HD footage, and impressive CGI to reveal the end point, riveting historical background, and lots of lively characters…
Featuring Big Ben, the Bund/China's Wall Street, the Eiffel Tower, Santiago di Compostela, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Taj Mahal.
Ep 1: Taj Mahal
With the Yamuna River as both a backdrop to the worlds most famous monument to love, and its greatest threat, the workers at the Taj Mahal face constant challenges on a daily basis. But with the Commonwealth Games looming these challenges just got even harder. They must restore sandstone archways, clean the famed blue-veined marble safely and replant much of the gardens. All, while they race against the clock.
Ep 2: Big Ben
Recently voted the most iconic monument in Britain, Big Ben has come to symbolize the sights and sounds of a nation but ever-needy machinery and her attachment to Britain’s parliament building means that making sure she remains reliable is Big Ben’s greatest challenge this year.
Following her 150th anniversary the keepers of Big Ben must ensure the monument stays clean, timely and most importantly, does not stop at an inopportune moment. Political elections, royal and state visits alike all pass below its famed clock faces. But as history continues to be made on its doorstep workers behind the scenes must do everything from keeping pigeons at bay with a Harris Hawk patrol to monitoring a rather worrying tilt.
Ep 3: Eiffel Tower
More than 7 million people a year visit this icon which has arguably become the world’s greatest tourist attraction. But behind the scenes, the Eiffel Tower is facing one of the most challenging periods in its history. Amidst an ambitious regeneration plan which they must finalise, there’s a hydraulic lift to build, a paint job to complete and critical new energy-saving targets to meet.
To add to this long list many of their tasks will require anything from low-grade acrobatics – like climbing onto the structure 100 feet off the ground to clean pigeon dung from a hard-to-reach corner, to full-scale aerial suspension whilst performing more “challenging” feats from painting to engineering checks.
Ep 4: Shanghai Bund
In Shanghai a small army has less than one year to complete a $40 Billion challenge.
After disappearing from the global stage in the 1940s, an exciting new Shanghai is emerging as China’s most cosmopolitan metropolis, with the Bund, its traditional banking centre, at its heart.
Gearing up for a six-month long party for World Expo with 70 million visitors expected, in typical Chinese style, Shanghai’s city planners have dared to dream the impossible.
They’ve made plans to use China’s largest boring machine to create a 3 km long, 2 story tunnel underneath the Bund. They’ve masterminded the removal and replacement of an entire 1000 tonne bridge. They’ve envisaged the use of the reclaimed traffic lanes as a landscaped area. And they’ve begun refurbishing over 25 historic buildings.
With this unmovable deadline, the race is on…
Ep 5: Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia’s most beloved icons. Connecting Sydney’s Central business district with its north shore, this steel through arch bridge is a lifeline for thousands of commuters daily from motorists, trains and pedestrians.
This year teams of workers must paint, monitor and constantly upgrade its railway lines while hosting events like breakfast on the bridge, the annual citywide food celebration. But can they really balance all of these tasks to pull off the refurbishment and the mega picnic, without disrupting public service?
Ep 6: Santiago de Compostela
For Christians, the journey to the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela is rivaled only by a visit to the Holy Land. With over 100,000 pilgrims a year, it is one of the fastest growing pilgrimage destinations in the world and with this year’s holy year celebrations, they are expecting some very special guests. The King and Queen will celebrate St James day and the Pope will say Holy Year mass for thousands. There’s only one problem. Before this happens restorers must race against time as stonework, the famed Portico de la Gloria the Botafumeiro, and relics, all get makeovers.