March 9, 2014
The Antiquities Coalition was honored to host the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, Mohammed Ibrahim the week of March 9 in Washington DC. During his visit, the Minister and Deborah Lehr, Chairman of the International Coalition to Protect Egyptian Antiquities — an initiative of the Antiquities Coalition — signed a public private partnership to protect Egyptian Antiquities from cultural racketeering. This partnership is the first of its kind for the Ministry. The first initiative under the agreement is to create a national registry of all excavated Egyptian antiquities.
The Egyptian Ambassador hosted a dinner in honor of the Minister and to celebrate the signing of this history agreement. Held in the Ambassador’s private residence, attendees included included Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan, Congressman Mark Meadows, R-NC, who is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Under Secretary for Art, History, and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution, Richard Kurin, ICPEA’s Chairman Deborah Lehr, and Yasser Elnaggar, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Egyptian Embassy.
The Antiquities Coalition, in partnership with the Capitol Archaeological Institute (CAI) at George Washington University and the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt hosted a roundtable discussion to explore potential solutions to the issue of global cultural racketeering. Minister Ibrahim opened the discussion by explaining the challenges Egypt is facing — as are other countries — in rallying the necessary resources to fight against armed looters. The Ambassador and the DCM of the Egyptian Embassy also spoke. Deborah Lehr moderated the discussion. Attendees including representatives from the CAI, the Smithsonian, the Rand Corporation, RARE, the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, The University of Glasgow, Boston University, Georgetown University, Virginia Commonwealth, and SAFE.