Ambassador D. Bruce Wharton Press Statement

As we discussed this afternoon, cultural heritage sites and objects globally are at grave risk, not only from natural disasters, but also from man-made destruction, looting, and trafficking at the hands of terrorist organizations and criminal networks. Cherished heritage sites and precious artifacts from Timbuktu in Mali to Palmyra in Syria and the Mosul Museum ... Read More»

U.S. Department of State and Smithsonian Partner on Emergency Cultural Heritage Work in Iraq

Nimrud, located about 20 miles south of Mosul, was under the control of ISIS until November 2016. During the city’s captivity, many important historical sites and artifacts were damaged or destroyed. The project builds on the Smithsonian’s work at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Erbil, Iraq which was established ... Read More»

U.S. Vote at the UN on the Destruction and Trafficking of Cultural Heritage by Terrorist Groups

The policy of the United States government is clear: the unlawful destruction or trafficking of cultural heritage is deplorable – we unequivocally oppose it, and we will take all feasible steps to halt, limit, and discourage it. Over the past two decades, we have seen damage to and destruction of our shared cultural heritage on ... Read More»

Florence G7 Ministerial – U.S. Delegation: Alyson L. Grunder

Alyson Grunder is the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Policy in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). She oversees the Bureau’s Alumni Affairs, Collaboratory, Public-Private Partnerships, Policy and Evaluation divisions as well as ECA’s Cultural Heritage Center, and ensures that ECA programs are aligned with and advancing White House and Department of State ... Read More»

Florence G7 Ministerial – U.S. Delegation: Maria P. Kouroupas

She oversees the technical and administrative support requirements of U.S. implementation of the 1970 UNESCO Convention the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. This includes support for the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, a statutory committee appointed by the President of the United States. Read More»

Florence G7 Ministerial – U.S. Delegation: Catherine P. Foster

Dr. Catherine P. Foster is Senior Cultural Property Analyst for the Cultural Heritage Center in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. She administers several international treaties for the protection of cultural property against pillage and trafficking with countries in Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Read More»

Florence G7 Ministerial – U.S. Delegation: Aviva Rosenthal

She has more than 20 years of diverse experience in government, business and the non-profit sector. At OIR, Aviva manages a vast portfolio of strategic partnerships between the Smithsonian Institution and international governments, foundations, NGOs, and other organizations, as well as ongoing collaborations between the Smithsonian and various U.S. federal agencies including the U.S. Department ... Read More»

Florence G7 Ministerial – U.S. Delegation: Raymond Villanueva

Raymond Villanueva is the Director for the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Office of International Operations. In this position, Mr. Villanueva is responsible for a budget of more than $160 million and the operational oversight of 66 offices in 49 countries and 8 Department of Defense liaison officers with over 400 personnel. Mr. Villanueva has more ... Read More»
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