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Marco Polo: The Faces of History

1 x 40 HD
Broadcaster:  NPO

With his father Niccolò and uncle Maffeo, Marco Polo travelled from Europe to largely unknown areas such as Persia, China and India.


During a period of incarceration, he had time to think and tell. His cellmate has recorded his adventures in Il Milione, an account of Marco Polo's adventures to the Far East. This book had a great influence on the European image of the East in the late Middle Ages, recording many things unknown in Europe such as the use of paper money, coal, and the existence of Japan. The geographical knowledge gained by Marco Polo was used by renowned cartographers and inspired explorers such as Christopher Colombus.


By understanding his life, and speaking to scientists during our journey, we arrive at the right final picture. Our host, famous actor Derek De Lint, travels to Italy, to understand the psychological and physical profile of Marco Polo, and reveal his true face. He visits important locations in his life, and delves deep into the archives, to provide historical context about the famous explorer. Meanwhile, renowed 3D artist Mao Lin Liao builds on these findings to create an astonishing and surprising digital reconstruction of his true face, allowing us to look Marco Polo in the eyes, for the very first time.

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