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Saving the Past for the Future

Guest Speaker: Dr. Patty Gerstenblith, Distinguished Research Professor, Director, Center for Art, Museum and Cultural Heritage Law, DePaul University College of Law

The world's cultural heritage and its archaeological heritage, in particular, have long been threatened by war and by looting during times of both peace and conflict.  The ongoing aftermath of the Arab Spring has been particularly destructive of the cultural heritage in the Middle East as sites are looted on an industrial scale and historic structures fall victim to all sides in the conflict.  Prof. Gerstenblith will address the legal and ethical restraints that aim to reduce the incentives to loot archaeological objects for the purpose of sale on the international art market and the intentional destruction of cultural sites during armed conflict.

Patty Gerstenblith is distinguished research professor of law at DePaul University College of Law and director of its Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law. She is founding president of the Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (2005-2011), secretary of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield and senior advisor to the ABA's Art and Cultural Heritage Law Committee.  In 2011, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as the chair of the President's Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the U.S. Department of State, on which she had previously served as a public representative in the Clinton administration. From 1995 to 2002, she was editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Cultural Property. Her publications include the casebook, Art, Cultural Heritage and the Law (now in its third edition), and the article, “Beyond the 1954 Hague Convention” in Cultural Awareness in the Military (Robert Albro and Bill Ivey eds 2014).  Gerstenblith received her AB from Bryn Mawr College, PhD in art history and anthropology from Harvard University, and JD from Northwestern University.

Cellist Alexandre Debrus will join Elif Allenfort, pianist, in performing at this service.