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AC’s Deborah Lehr Highlights Need for International Efforts to Support Ukraine’s Heritage in The Hill

June 16, 2023

When countries experience conflict, one of the many tragedies includes the destruction of cultural heritage as a way to erase the nation’s identity. Today, art and antiquities remain frequent targets for looting during times of crisis.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has been no different, with Ukraine reporting nearly 1,700 instances of likely damage to museums, archives, and libraries as a result of the ongoing war. The treasures damaged by Russian forces are priceless pieces of Ukraine’s history and critical to telling their story.

On June 2, 2023, Deborah Lehr, Chairman and Founder of the Antiquities Coalition, explored this issue during a panel at the Meridian International Center’s Culturefix, where the need for a collaborative effort to support Ukraine was a key focus. Moderated by Lehr, the panel included Dr. Kateryna Smagliy, First Secretary, Public and Cultural Diplomacy, Embassy of Ukraine to the U.S.; Dr. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large at the Smithsonian Institution; and Irina Bokova, Former Director-General of UNESCO.

In a recent piece, The Hill highlighted the panel’s conversation on the vulnerabilities of cultural heritage in conflict zones and what steps international partners can take to protect our shared history.

Read the full article from The Hill here.