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Former Director of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad to lead Oriental Institute Museum tours this Sunday, Jan. 6

Dec. 31, 2007

Chicago-area art lovers and history buffs are invited to join the former Director-General of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad, Donny George, in a behind-the-scenes private tour of the Mesopotamian and Assyrian galleries at the Oriental Institute Museum on the campus at the University of Chicago on Sunday, January 6, 2008.  Two tours are planned, one for 1 p.m. and another for 2:30 p.m.

George will provide a personal account of his experiences in Iraq, including fieldwork at Babylon, and Nineveh, and will reflect upon the current situation at the Iraq Museum while discussing some of the finest Mesopotamian artifacts in the world, displayed at the Oriental Institute.

“This collection is exceptional, because every object has been scientifically excavated and legally and ethically acquired,” said George. “Rather than treat artifacts as only aesthetic objects, the Oriental Institute functions as a teaching institution. Every object has a provenance.”

Dr. George will discuss the crucial distinction between provenanced objects (with verifiable origin and ownership history) and unprovenanced ancient art on display at many museums, which are too often the result of site looting.

The Donny George Tours of the Oriental Institute Museum are sponsored by the non-profit organization SAFE/Saving Antiquities for Everyone. “We are grateful for Dr. George, who lives in New York, for providing this unique experience for Chicago-area visitors,” says SAFE president Cindy Ho. “He will also open visitors’ eyes to the devastating impact of site looting that occurs not only in Iraq, but around the world.”

A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Oriental Institute Museum. For more information, see

Event Details
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Two tours: 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Oriental Institute Museum, The University of Chicago, 1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Tickets:  $40 for adults,  $15 for students with valid ID
Oriental Inst. Members receive a $10 discount

About SAFE

SAFE/Saving Antiquities for Everyone, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, creates educational programs and media campaigns to raise public awareness about the importance of preserving cultural heritage worldwide. SAFE is a coalition of professional in communications, media and advertising working together alongside experts in the academic, legal and law enforcement communities. SAFE has no political affiliations. For details, visit us at

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Last modified at 09:17 PM CST on Monday, December 31, 2007

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