Corine Wegener played an important role in the recovery of the National Museum of Iraq after devastating looting took place there during the war. Now, she serves as cultural heritage preservation officer with the Smithsonian Institution. She’ll talk about her work protecting priceless cultural treasures in the wake of conflict and natural disasters at an upcoming lecture at West Virginia University.

Wegener will present “From Berlin to Baghdad: Saving Heritage in Armed Conflict,” Thursday, Sept. 17, as part of the activities celebrating the opening of the new Art Museum of WVU.

The lecture, the next in the Dan and Betsy Brown Lecture Series, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre of the Creative Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Wegener’s talk will focus on her work with sites around the world where artistic and cultural treasures are threatened by conflict or natural disasters.

“The need to protect and preserve the artifacts that embody artistic and culture heritage in today’s world is just as urgent as it was during World War II when Europe’s art was threatened with destruction,” said Joyce Ice, director of the Art Museum of WVU. “Corine Wegener has played a critical role in rescuing priceless treasures.”

Wegener was previously associate curator of decorative arts at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and is a retired major with 21 years of service in the U.S. Army Reserve. Her last assignment was in Baghdad, as the Arts, Monuments, and Archives Officer for the 352nd Civil Affairs Command, where her duties included assisting the Iraq National Museum and also acting as military liaison to the Iraqi Ministry of Culture.

She is also founder and president of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, a non-profit organization committed to the protection of cultural property worldwide during armed conflict. For her work with the Blue Shield, she was awarded the 2007 ICOM-US International Service Citation.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and has master’s degrees in Political Science and Art History from the University of Kansas.

The Dan and Betsy Brown Lecture Series was endowed in 2002 by a substantial contribution from Daniel and Elizabeth “Betsy” Dougherty Brown. It brings recognized outstanding individuals from a broad spectrum of disciplines to WVU to give public lectures and to interact with faculty and students.

Dan Brown is a 1959 graduate of the College of Business and Economics and Betsy Brown is a 1959 graduate of the Davis School of Agriculture, Forestry, and Consumer Sciences. The Browns’ generous support of WVU has included establishing The Brown Family Faculty Development Fund, as well as a guest room at Blaney House, the WVU Marching Band’s state-of-the-art rehearsal tower and photography and computer-assisted design labs at the Creative Arts Center.

In celebration of the Art Museum of WVU, the Browns have designated the 2015 Lecture Series to topics related to art and museums.

For more information about the lecture, contact the Art Museum of WVU at 304-293-4359.



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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