NOMA joins fellow museums in response to safeguarding cultural sites in the Middle East

Shah Mosque (1629) is a Safavid-era mosque, registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It stands in Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, Iran.

NOMA joins with fellow museums across North America in supporting this statement from The Association of Art Museum Directors, issued on January 6, 2020.

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), the organization representing 225 art museums in the United States, Canada, and Mexico urges, that in the event of hostilities, steps be taken to protect the cultural heritage of both Iran and Iraq.

AAMD deplores the tactic of targeting or demolishing cultural sites as part of any war or armed conflict. In this case, the region is home to unique and irreplaceable artifacts and archaeological sites, and AAMD strongly urges international engagement to protect and preserve our shared cultural heritage.

The United States has a long and important history of safeguarding art and artifacts during conflict, such as with the Monuments Men during World War II. The United States government should be aware of the location of the region’s many significant cultural and religious sites and monuments—and the museum community stands ready to assist with locating them and working to help U.S. forces avoid targeting or destroying them.

About AAMD
The Association of Art Museum Directors advances the profession by cultivating leadership capabilities of directors, advocating for the field, and fostering excellence in art museums. An agile, issues-driven organization, AAMD has three desired outcomes: engagement, leadership, and shared learning. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at aamd.org.