The material legacy of the ancient world is our common heritage, the identity and inspiration for all humanity. Cultural heritage has the power to unite us and is critical for achieving peace. Protecting and preserving our cultural heritage is a core value of civilized societies, including our own.
It is tragic that today there would be any contemplation or rhetorical threat of further destruction of cultural heritage, particularly when what precious little remains in the world is already suffering from wanton destruction, looting, neglect, reckless overdevelopment, and climate change. Instead, we should be celebrating its existence, working to enhance protections and strengthen our international laws, and moving toward a more textured understanding of the world’s ancient cultures and their contributions to our shared experience.
The Getty is dedicated to broadening the world’s knowledge and understanding of the vibrant and sophisticated cultural heritage of the Middle East. To that end, the J. Paul Getty Museum is currently presenting an exhibition of antiquities from Assyria, and is planning upcoming exhibitions of the ancient arts of Mesopotamia and Persia for our millions of visitors to learn from and appreciate.
In September 2019, we announced Ancient Worlds Now: A Future for the Past, an unprecedented $100 million, decade-long global initiative to promote a greater understanding of the world’s cultural heritage and its value to global society, including far-reaching education, research, and conservation efforts.