Beyond the Iraq Museum: Protecting our Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis
The tragic looting of the Iraq National Museum in 2003 shocked cultural heritage professionals into action and led to the U.S. ratification of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict in 2009. Natural disasters, global climate change, and political instability also continue to place our cultural heritage at risk around the globe. As a response to these events, Minneapolis Institute of Arts curator and former military officer Corine Wegener founded the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield in 2006. Part of an international network, USCBS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting cultural property during armed conflict and natural disasters. Wegener provided a slide presentation about her experience with the Iraq National Museum and described the current state of efforts to protect our shared cultural heritage in times of crisis.