Thursday, February 5, 2015

From Plunder to Preservation: The Untold Story of Cultural Heritage, World War II, and the Pacific

A Conference Marking the 70th Anniversaries of the Battles of the Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal

Thursday, November 8, 2014 – Friday, November 9, 2014

Organized by The National Trust for Historic Preservation

Terressa Davis

A lifetime has now passed since the United States entered the Second World War on 8 December 1941. The recent 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor revived interest in World War II, and in particular, the Pacific Theater of Operations. With 2012, 2013, and 2014 also commemorating major battles, focus on the War in the Pacific has only continued to increase.

The Pacific Theater —with its Kamikaze suicide bombings, guerrilla tactics, and nuclear weapons — was a take-no-prisoners fight to the death through island jungles exotic to both the Americans and Japanese. Because the war was fought between civilizations, cultural heritage was a major target, and thus a major casualty.

The FBA, New Orleans Chapter, has assembled a nationally recognized group of speakers, including archaeologists, historians, and lawyers. They will discuss the Empire of Japan’s pillaging and destruction of Asian treasures from Mongolia to Singapore. And they will shed light on the United States’ plan to first destroy —and ultimately spare —historic Kyoto; South Korea's efforts to recover their looted artworks; the fight to prevent the desecration of major battlefields; and the environmental time bomb of sunken battleships, and gravesites themselves, in pristine South Pacific waters.

William Cook, J.D., Associate General Counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Tess Davis, J.D., Archeologist, Lawyer and Affiliate Researcher, University of Glasgow, Scotland
Ricardo J. Elia, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Archeology, Boston University
Laura Gongaware, J.D., Bland & Partners, PLLC
Larry Murphy, former Lead Marine Archaeologist for the National Park Service; expert witness in underwater cultural heritage cases.
John Stubbs, Director of Preservation Studies, Tulane University School of Architecture
Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation
Ole Varmer, Attorney-Advisor, International Section, Office of the General Counsel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Elizabeth Varner, J.D., Executive Director of the National Art Museum of Sport


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