One of the nice things about working at a major University is that they always have interesting lectures going on. I try to attend as many as I can, but this past year I have been so busy that I have not attended as many as I would have liked. I also occasionally run into old friends or people that I know at these things and tonight was no exception. I ran into a few archaeologists including my friend and fantastic archaeologist Vanca S. Hello Vanca!
So tonight, during my dinner break, I attend part of a fantastic talk by Cori Wegener, the Associate Curator, Decorative Arts, Textiles and Sculpture, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Cori’s talk was “Hell Hath No Fury: How the Looting of the Iraq Museum Changed the Way Archaeologists Think About Armed Conflict.”
Here is a bit about what the talk was about:
“This lecture is part of the “Donny George Candlelight Vigil for Global Heritage” in memory of Donny George Youkhanna, former director of the Iraq National Museum, sponsored by Saving Antiquities for Everyone (SAFE). Donny George, who ardently supported protection of the world’s shared cultural heritage, was a valued colleague and a man of integrity. His sudden passing due to a heart attack on March 11, 2011 leaves a void in the soul of Iraqi archaeology. See http://www.savingantiquities.org/candlelightvigils.php.
In 2003, the archaeological community united in shared outrage over the tragic looting of the Iraq Museum. Later, damage and looting of archaeological sites in Iraq also took place, including preventable damage to sites at or near Coalition bases. With a renewed determination to prevent such damage in future conflicts, archaeologists began to think about how they could contribute to the preservation of collections and archaeological sites during armed conflict. Wegener will talk about her experiences working with archaeologists, including Donny George, both while serving in Iraq as a U.S. Army officer and later as founder and president of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield” (Accessed April 12, 2011 https://events.umn.edu/012811).