11 December 2013 Start
11 December 2013 End
5.30 pm Time
USA The Oriental Institute University of Chicago 1155 East 58th Street Chicago, IL 60637


Looting the Past: The Battle for Our Ancient Heritage

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A public program from The Chicago Council on Global Affairs in partnership with the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

History can be a casualty of war and instability-the looting of the Iraq Museum in 2003, the demolition of Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001, and now the destruction of Syria’s ancient sites amidst the chaos.

Thirty to forty percent of Aleppo’s ancient landmarks were damaged in one year alone. Although most countries recognize the importance of preserving the world’s cultural heritage sites, especially standing monuments, the destruction, theft, and trading of portable antiquities remain controversial issues. Legal and ethical debates continue between museums, private collectors, dealers, source countries, archaeologists, and academics, and the looting shows no sign of abating.

Join The Chicago Council, the Oriental Institute, and our panel of experts for a discussion on the fate of our ancient heritage.


James Cuno, President and CEO, The J. Paul Getty Trust

Patty Gerstenblith, Distinguished Research Professor of Law, and Director, DePaul Center for Art, Museum, & Cultural Heritage Law

Richard M. Leventhal, Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, and Executive Director, Penn Cultural Heritage Center

Moderated by Gil Stein, Director, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago