The Looting of the Iraq National Museum and Protecting Cultural Property at War
A Presentation by Corine Wegener, US Committee of the Blue Shield
Corine Wegener is founder and president of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of cultural property during armed conflict. Because of her civilian expertise as a curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Wegener, an Army Reservist, was deployed to Iraq in 2003-2004 to assist the Iraq National Museum and other Iraqi cultural institutions.
The looting of the Iraq Museum increased international awareness about the plight of cultural property during armed conflict. Upon her return in 2004, Wegener immediately began to take advantage of this situation, bringing together cultural heritage professionals, military organizations, and government leaders in an effort prevent such tragedies in the future. Since then, the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield has provided cultural property awareness training for more than 600 deploying U.S. soldiers and helped lead a coalition of organizations that influenced the U.S. Senate to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Wegener will provide a slide presentation about her experiences in Iraq and her ongoing work with the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield.