WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 16, 2007) - Today, at its 101st Annual Meeting in Chicago, the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the U.S. Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-US) honored Ms. Corine Wegener, President, U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield with the 2007 ICOM-US International Service Citation. The citation strives to honor individuals who have made a commitment to advance the cause of museum-based international relations.
Cori Wegener is assistant curator, Architecture, Design, Decorative Arts, Craft, and Sculpture at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and is also a major (retired) in the U.S. Army Reserve. Stationed in Baghdad from May 2003 to March 2004, she worked as the Arts, Monuments and Archives Officer for the 352nd Civil Affairs Command, served as the military liaison to the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, and assisted the staff of the Iraq National Museum in their recovery efforts.
After returning to the United States, Wegener looked for ways to prevent the military-civilian disconnect she witnessed in Iraq from recurring. In response, she established the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, an American branch of an international committee set up in 1996 to respond to armed conflicts that may threaten cultural property.
In a 2007 Museum News article, “Lost: The Battle to Save Iraq’s Antiquities,” Wegener said, “We are offering training for [Army] Civil Affairs units on how to give first aid to cultural property–how to recognize what is art and how to deal with it in an emergency situation and do the best to stabilize the situation until they can get a professional. The hope is that in the future, it will also be easier to deploy cultural heritage professionals in areas where sites are threatened.”
The U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield coordinates with the U.S. military, U.S. government, and other cultural property organizations to protect cultural property worldwide during armed conflict. It also works to provide advice and assistance to U.S. cultural organizations in emergency planning for situations involving armed conflict.
“We are honored to present Cori with the ICOM-US service citation this year,” said Dr. Nina Archabal, vice chair of ICOM-US and director of the Minnesota Historical Society. “She has demonstrated outstanding leadership, courage and commitment to the international museum community.”
The ICOM-US citation is only presented in years when a person, museum or other organization is identified whose work has promoted international relations and has had significant impact in the museum field. Cori is only the third recipient of the award.
For more information about the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, visit www.uscbs.org .
Additional award information, including a list of past citation honorees, is available online athttp://www.aam-us.org/museumresources/icom/icomaward.cfm. Nomination materials will be available in late May.
ICOM-US, the U.S. National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), provides the framework through which US citizens participate ICOM’s world-wide network. ICOM-US members are museum professionals who are committed to learning from and sharing knowledge with colleagues from abroad. ICOM-US members forge ties with colleagues from around the world while bringing global perspectives to their own museums and the communities they serve. For more information, visit http://www.aam-us.org/museumresources/icom/.
About the American Association of Museums
The American Association of Museums (AAM) has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. With more than 15,000 individual, 3,000 institutional, and 300 corporate members, AAM is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.