An online lecture as part of the Out of the Ashes Lecture Series, with Cori Wegener, Director, Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative. This event is free but registration is essential. Book Here
In 2014, Daesh (aka ISIS) established their so-called “Caliphate” in the city of Mosul and cut a swath of intentional destruction of cultural heritage across Iraq’s Nineveh plain. After the liberation of Mosul in 2017, international organizations began to offer help with cultural recovery, including the heavily damaged Mosul Cultural Museum. As a potential war crime scene under the definition of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, heritage professionals realized they had only one chance to document the evidence before recovery began or risk losing it forever. In a unique collaboration with law enforcement professionals, the Smithsonian Institution developed a methodology to systematically document cultural destruction where criminal activity is known or suspected. Wegener will describe how the methodology was used to document the Mosul Cultural Museum as a “cold case crime scene” and how it may be used in the future as the first step on the road to recovery.
About the Out of the Ashes Lecture Series
This three-year lecture series explores the theme of cultural loss and recovery across the centuries, from the destruction of the Library of Alexandria in antiquity to contemporary acts of cultural loss and destruction. A panel of world-leading experts reflects on how societies deal with cultural trauma through reconstruction and commemoration, and on how the international community should respond to cultural loss. The series is global in scope, pan-historical and multi-disciplinary in approach, and features international scholars and practitioners of the highest calibre.
The Out of the Ashes lecture series is generously supported by Sean and Sarah Reynolds.