Iraq's Lost National Treasures

Nada Shabout and McGuire Gibson with Abbas Milani

Monday, January 28, 2008 | 7:30 – 9:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

Third of Five-Part Series with Montalvo Arts Center

In this third of five conversations in our IRAQ: REFRAME series, Abbas Milani, director of Stanford’s Iranian Studies Program, hosts Nada Shabout, an authority on Iraqi art history, and McGuire Gibson, the University of Chicago archaeologist who co-authored Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq’s Regional Museums, the first academic publication to call attention to the problem of looting after the First Gulf War.  

is an innovative series of visual, performing, and media arts at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga through April 2008.  The Aurora Forum is pleased to join with the Montalvo Arts Center to present five public conversations with scholars, artists, and journalists whose knowledge of past and present conflicts in the Mesopotamian cradle of civilization will reframe our understanding of the current situation in Iraq.

An authority on Arab visual culture and Islamic art, Nada Shabout has dedicated her career to documenting artwork missing and stolen from the Iraqi Museum of Modern Art in Baghdad, damaged by fire and looting after bombings in 2003. Her current project is "Recovering Iraq’s Modern Heritage: Constructing and Digitally Documenting the Collection of the former Saddam Center for the Arts." She curated Moments from 20th Century Iraqi Art, on exhibition at Montalvo Arts Center through April 6. Her book, Modern Arab Art: Formation of Arab Aesthetics was published in 2007.

McGuire Gibson is one of the world's leading authorities on ancient Mesopotamia. He has done fieldwork in Iraq and elsewhere in the region and has published extensively. He was as part of a National Geographic delegation visiting Iraq to inspect archaeological sites in 2003. He also has provided expert advice to UNESCO and other cultural and scholarly organizations working to preserve the archaeological heritage of Iraq. In 1992, he and colleague Augusta McMahon published Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums, the first academic publication to call attention to the problem of looting after the first Gulf War. He also is the author and co-author of numerous articles and books on ancient Mesopotamia.

ABBAS MILANI (moderator)
Abbas Milani, a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science, is director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution.

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