Museum directors step forward to save art from Islamic State

By Maxwell Anderson

Earlier this month the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), a professional body representing the leading art museums in North America, issued “Protocols for Safe Havens for Works of Cultural Significance from Countries in Crisis.” The protocols offer museums a framework to provide shelter for works of art at risk owing to “war, terrorism or natural disasters,” a definition that includes Islamic State-looted objects. Owners of works at risk can request safe haven at an AAMD member museum. In turn, museums will not seek permanent title or ownership, but instead act as temporary stewards. Once a conflict-related or natural threat has waned sufficiently in the afflicted area, the works will be returned. [link]