Professor Peter Stone marks the invasion of Iraq

Peter Stone, Head of the School of Arts and Cultures, is speaking about the importance of preserving cultural Prof Peter Stoneheritage in conflict zones to mark the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

The University is linking up with the Collections Trust to host an evening reception and lecture on Monday 18 March 2013 at the Society of Antiquaries in London, which will be followed by a day school the following weekend to discuss the issues raised.

Cultural Property Protection – ten years after the invasion of Iraq 

By Professor Peter Stone OBE FSA MIFA

The world reacted in horror at the looting of the National Museum that followed the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the Coalition led by the USA and UK. In the months leading up to the invasion archaeologists from around the world had done all in their power to encourage the Coalition to take every effort to protect Iraq’s archaeological sites and museums. Sadly these pleas were unsuccessful and museums, archaeological sites, libraries, archives, and art galleries were all looted with thousands of objects being lost to the trade in illicit antiquities. While the military and their political masters could, and should, have done more, part of the blame for this looting and destruction must lie with the cultural sector that had allowed a close and successful relationship with the military, forged during the Second World War, to wither on the vine.
This lecture will focus on activity since 2003 and will chart the efforts of cultural heritage experts who have been working with the military and other agencies to put in place better protection for cultural property during conflict. It will touch on work carried out with respect to recent events in Libya, Mali and Syria and on a growing acceptance by the military that cultural property protection is a valuable and important aspect of their work. There is, however, much still to be done.

More information about the day school:

The UK National Commission for UNESCO,
Newcastle University and the Collections Trust are pleased to invite you to a Day School on
Cultural Property Protection – ten years after the invasion of Iraq 

Saturday 23 March 2013, 10.00-16.00 (Registration from 9.30)

To be held at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 


Chair Peter Stone, Newcastle University & UK National Committee of the Blue Shield

[1] “Cradle of Civilisation”: Why Iraqi cultural heritage matters (Augusta McMahon, University of Cambridge)
[2] The Iraq National Museum and cultural property protection in 2013 (Dr Lamia al-Gailani Werr)
[3] The British Museum’s involvement in Iraq 2003 – 2013 (John Curtis, British Museum)
[4] The trade in illicit antiquities – Iraq a case study (Dr Neil Brodie, University of Glasgow)


Chair Sue Davies, UK National Commission for UNESCO

[5] The Monuments Men. Lessons learned in the Second World War (but then forgotten) (Dr Nigel Pollard, Swansea University)
[6] Cultural Protection Awareness on the UK Defence Training Estate (Richard Osgood, Defence Infrastructure Organisation)
[7] Iraq is not alone…the situation in Syria in 2013 (Emma Cunliffe,   Durham University)
[8] Cultural Property Protection – ten years after the invasion of Iraq (Peter Stone, Newcastle University)

Registration in advance is essential.

Tickets (including tea and coffee on arrival and lunch) are £10.00 each. Tickets can be purchased on the day or online. Please register at

For further information please contact:


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