Wednesday, May 6, 2009
New Iraqi training initiative
A press conference was held today to draw attention to a new State Department initiative providing funding for Iraqi archaeologists and conservators. Restricted by the former regime and the war, Iraqi archaeologists and conservators have been isolated from professional contact and developments in the field for nearly 20 years, while looting and destruction of archaeological sites has grown exponentially. 18 Iraqi professionals will each spend 6 months in Chicago learning new conservation and cultural heritage management techniques. They will also be attending a Chicago Cubs game and visiting Cahokia. The Field Museum and our colleague Jim Phillips is administering this two year program, which also involves professionals from the Oriental Institute. A short ABC clip features Jim and OI director Gil Stein, and yes, thats Mo in the background at one point.