2:51 p.m., Oct. 21, 2008----The U.S. Department of State has chosen UD as a partner in the Iraq Cultural Heritage Project. First Lady Laura Bush announced the establishment of the project on Thursday, Oct. 16.
UD will work with Winterthur Museum & Country Estate and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore to establish a new conservation and historic preservation institute in Erbil, Iraq, a city 50 miles east of Mosul in northern Iraq.
The institute will train new professionals to preserve Iraq's historic treasures and to protect more than 12,000 registered archaeological sites in Iraq.
“The University of Delaware is honored to participate in this critically important project,” said Debra Hess Norris, vice provost for graduate and professional education and Henry Francis du Pont Chair in Fine Arts. “Working with our partners in the United States and Iraq, we will develop a training program for Iraqi professionals addressing the philosophy and ethics of conservation, relevant scientific principles and methods, the stabilization and treatment of collections and preventive conservation practices, including the proper display and storage of collections.”
Funding for the project is provided by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad through a $13 million grant to International Relief and Development, a nongovernmental organization.
Other aspects of the project include a professional development program to be set up at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History and continued improvements to the Iraq National Museum. The museum is home to one of the world's finest collections of Mesopotamian antiques. It endured frequent closures during times of war and unrest and has been shuttered since 2006.
Article by Andrea Boyle