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AC Joins World Leaders to Discuss Creativity at Annual CEA Museums Cooperation Initiative

May 30, 2024

As the illicit trade in art and antiquities continues to threaten heritage globally, it is essential to promote creative solutions to preserve and protect our shared history. 

On May 22-23, the Antiquities Coalition joined global leaders at the fourth China-Europe-America (CEA) Museums Cooperation Dialogue to discuss museums’ essential role in safeguarding heritage.

Deborah Lehr, Chairman and Founder of the Antiquities Coalition, emphasized the creative potential of museums:

“Culture is a fundamental source of creativity. And as stewards of culture, museums have a unique ability to harness creativity. They also have a responsibility to safeguard our shared heritage from threats.”

As powerful intermediaries between global cultures, museums serve as facilitators of educational and material exchange. In this important role, museums must model high legal and ethical standards in their management of cultural materials. 

Executive Director Tess Davis shared recent successes and the marked potential of creative exhibitions, collaborative repatriations, and elevated best practices. She concluded,

“Fifty years later, museums are still key allies in the fight against the illicit trade in antiquities, and we are thrilled to see different ways they are serving as catalysts for creativity to inspire others to join the fight.”

The China-Europe-America Museums Cooperation Initiative is a community of experts, practitioners, artists, designers, entrepreneurs, and educators, whose mission is to find collaborative solutions for the world’s greatest challenges. The CEA has explored the multi-faceted world of museums— from technology in 2021, to preservation in 2022, and connectivity in 2023. Learn more about these events here.

These dialogues have fostered numerous publications, including a recent volume featuring AC Chairman and Founder Deborah Lehr on “The Role of Archaeology in the Relationship between China and the World.” Learn more and access the publication here.