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School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs sheilah.schneider

Protection and Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Conflict

A presentation by Joris D. Kila

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m., CUB Auditorium

Dr. Kila will also present a Foley Talk at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Bryan 308.

Joris Kila
Joris Kila

Widely regarded as the cradle of civilization, North Africa and the Middle East house a rich cultural heritage of art and artifacts dating back to the earliest-known human settlements. Today, these treasures are under serious threat of damage, theft, and destruction arising from armed conflicts.

Joris Kila is at the frontline of the struggle to prevent destruction of a shared heritage that has been preserved and passed down to us over thousands of years. Based on his research and experience, Dr. Kila will present possible solutions in this critical struggle.

A member of the U.S. Combat Commands Cultural Heritage Action Group and chair of the International Cultural Resources Working Group, Kila assesses the place of cultural property protection in global security and examines competing and contradictory stakeholder interests. (Why are national and international policies and institutions unable to safeguard heritage and prevent illegal trade? he asks.) His assessment includes analysis of iconoclasm, traumascapes, military input, and the use of cultural property to finance conflict.

Kila, who is a veteran of cultural emergency missions in areas of armed conflict, also will present his original research into an ISIS (Daesh)-developed business model for cultural appropriation and other evidence he collected of damaged and lost material culture in Syria, Mali, Egypt, Libya, and Iraq.

Sponsored by the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs with support from the College of Arts and Sciences; the Department of History George and Bernadine Converse Historical Endowment; the Department of English; the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service; the PPPA Graduate Student Association; and Office of Multicultural Student Services.