AIYS President Daniel Varisco gave the event’s opening presentation, which introduced the audience to the history, peoples, and cultures of Yemen.
On Saturday, February 23, CAORC, in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler Galleries, the Antiquities Coalition, and the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, organized the day-long public event “Culture at Risk—Yemen’s Heritage under Threat” in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of the ongoing conflict in Yemen and especially the increasing threats facing the country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.
The event’s first panel, “Yemen’s Cultural Heritage: Destruction and Recovery,” was moderated by AIYS President Daniel Varisco (right) and included a panelist discussion with Stephennie Mulder of the University of Texas at Austin (left) and Brian Daniels of the Penn Cultural Heritage Center (center).
The event, which drew nearly 100 people, including Yemen’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Ahmad Awad Bin Mubarak, featured presentations by specialists on Yemen and its heritage, including AIYS President Daniel Varisco, former AIYS resident director Noha Sadek, and former AIYS fellow Krista Lewis.
CAORC Program Director Glenn Corbett introducing Krista Lewis’s presentation on threats facing museum collections throughout Yemen.
The event’s three panels included discussions of the general issues associated with conflict heritage in the MENA region, examples of Yemeni sites and collections destroyed or under threat, and possible ways the U.S. government and the international community can respond to the crisis.
A panel discussion of “The Damage Caused to Yemen’s Cultural Heritage,” chaired by J.M. Kaplan Heritage Conservation program director Will Raynolds (right) and including panelists Krista Lewis (left), Zaydoon Zaid (second from left), and Noha Sadek (second from right).
The event also served to highlight the work of CAORC’s Kaplan Responsive Preservation Initiative, which has sought to support the preservation and safeguarding of threatened museum and manuscript collections throughout Yemen.
A special roundtable discussion on “The Response of the U.S. and the International Community to the Crisis,” moderated by Antiquities Coalition Chairman Deborah Lehr (right) and featuring discussants Luigi Marini of the Italian Mission to the UN (left), Libyan Ambassador to the U.S. Wafa Bughaighis (second from left), and Gerald Feierstein, former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen (second from right).
Photos courtesy the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer/Sackler Galleries.