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Jessica S. Johnson (center), academic director of
University of Delaware programs at the Iraqi Institute for the
Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Erbil, Iraq, leads a tour of
the institute's lab facilities during a recent meeting of Iraqi
government heritage professionals.
After four years in operation, the Iraqi
Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage (IICAH)
continues to grow, thanks to a strong partnership between the Iraqi
government and an international partnership led by the University of
Last month, over 50 Iraqi professionals assembled at the institute to
share their thoughts and recommendations on the IICAH's goals, purposes
and accomplishments. Guests included provincial directors responsible
for the management of antiquities and heritage from the State Board of
Antiquities and Heritage and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and
university faculty and administrators from programs in archaeology,
architecture and engineering.
"These meetings are extremely important for the improvement and
continued development of the Institute," said Abdullah Khorseed Qadir,
director of the IICAH and chairman of its board of directors. "Only
through Iraqi and international partnerships can the institute continue
to provide relevant education and resources to Iraqi cultural heritage
Guided discussions gave participants an opportunity to provide useful
feedback regarding the institute management and academic
leadership. The institute, working through their Iraqi-American Advisory
Council and UD staff, will use these comments and suggestions to guide
updates and changes to curricula and academic program offerings.
Together, the group is committed to strengthening training efforts at
the institute to better sustain an Iraq-wide educational infrastructure
rooted in a strong preservation ethic.
Through the years, the Iraqi Institute has grown and evolved due to
the beneficial partnership between the Iraqi government and several
international organizations, including UD, the World Monuments Fund and
the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities.
"The University of Delaware's work with the IICAH is important in
several ways. Not only are we assisting to rebuild and improve the
entire cultural heritage sector in Iraq, we're doing so in support of
the University's Global Initiative, which encourages awareness and
knowledge of cultural and social issues facing the world," said UD's
Brian Michael Lione, director of the architectural and site conservation
program at the institute.
UD's director of academic programs at the institute, Jessica Johnson,
echoed Lione's comments, saying, "By involving Iraqi cultural heritage
professionals from both the government and academic sectors, the
University of Delaware is helping ensure the long-term sustainability of
the programs through increased awareness of the Institute and its
The IICAH is a unique collaboration between the U.S. Department of
State's Cultural Heritage Center, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq's
State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, the Erbil Governorate, UD's
Department of Art Conservation and the Institute for Global Studies,
Winterthur Museum, Walters Art Museum, University of Arizona, University
of Pennsylvania and the Getty Conservation Institute. Private donors
include the Getty Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the
Bank of America Art Conservation Project.
More information on the IICAH can be found at these websites:
• UD Department of Art Conservation
• Department of State
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