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Statement from Cincinnati Art Museum on Cultural Heritage of Iran and Iraq

1/7/2020 12:00:00 AM

The Cincinnati Art Museum stands with our colleagues in support of preservation and protection of irreplaceable antiquities at cultural, archaeological and historical sites around the globe.  We endorse the January 6, 2020 message of the Association of Art Museum Directors (below) articulating the value of art historical study, conservation and research. As we soon publish a project that reflects on the U.S. Monuments Men, who protected world heritage during and after World War II, we uphold the values of those who so nobly served our nation and the common good.

—Cameron Kitchin, Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director, Cincinnati Art Museum


The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), the organization representing 225 art museums in the United States, Canada, and Mexico urges, that in the event of hostilities, steps be taken to protect the cultural heritage of both Iran and Iraq.

AAMD deplores the tactic of targeting or demolishing cultural sites as part of any war or armed conflict. In this case, the region is home to unique and irreplaceable artifacts and archaeological sites, and AAMD strongly urges international engagement to protect and preserve our shared cultural heritage.

The United States has a long and important history of safeguarding art and artifacts during conflict, such as with the Monuments Men during World War II. The United States government should be aware of the location of the region’s many significant cultural and religious sites and monuments—and the museum community stands ready to assist with locating them and working to help U.S. forces avoid targeting or destroying them.