Friday, August 13, 2010

Donny George speaks out on the evacuation of the Kuwait Museum in 1991

Donny George released a statement, via Looting Matters, detailing what happened to the contents of the Kuwait Museum during the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. his account is a fuller version of what he described to me when I interviewed him for my book, The Rape of Mesopotamia, and is corroborated in the following sources, noted in the footnotes to that book: Jonathan M. Bloom and Lark Ellen Gould, “Patient Restoration: The Kuwait National Museum,” Saudi Aramco World, September/October 2000, http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200005/patient.restoration-the.kuwait.national.museum.htm. Kirsty Norman, “The Invasion of Kuwait, and the Subsequent Recovery of its National Museum: A Conservator’s View,” Museum Management and Curatorship 16, no. 2 (1997): 180-191; Selma Al-Radi, “War and Cultural Heritage: Lessons from Lebanon, Kuwait and Iraq” (lecture, Cultural Emergency Response, Prinsenhof Museum, Delft, The Netherlands, September 26, 2003), De Kracht Van Cultuur, October 2003, cached text of Web site retrieved by Google, July 25, 2007, http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:U9M2HK2MjlYJ:www.powerofculture.nl/nl/artikelen/war_and_cultural_heritage.html (accessed September 21, 2007); and, authoritatively, McGuire Gibson and Augusta McMahon, Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums, fasc. 1 (Chicago: American Association for Research in Baghdad, 1992). See also Gibson's 1991-92 Annual Report on the Nippur Expedition.

Why is it necessary to provide these references? Because media misreporting back in the 1990s, probably encouraged by supporters of Kuwait, mixed up the real and inexcusable looting of private Kuwaiti collections with the entirely legal and indeed required removal of the holdings of Kuwait's National Museum by heritage professionals from Iraq. This misreporting has a long tail.


1 comment:

Charles Ellwood Jones said...

FYI: We have had the source you cite as authoritative -- McGuire Gibson and Augusta McMahon, Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums, fasc. 1 (Chicago: American Association for Research in Baghdad, 1992) -- online since 2004
http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/IRAQ/lh.html

-Chuck-