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Cultural Property Panel
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Cultural Property: Where are we now?

About the Panel

In 2004, the AAMD issued new guidelines on the acquisition of archeological material and ancient art. This panel will address the ways in which museums are coming into compliance since the guidelines were published.

Confirmed Panelists

Richard Burger, Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of Anthropology, Yale University; Curator of South American Archaeology, Yale Peabody Museum

Sharon Cott, Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Kristina Van Dyke, Curator for Collections and Research, The Menil Collection

Moderator: Rita Freed, John F. Cogan, Jr. and Mary L. Cornille Chair of Art of the Ancient World, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

About the Panelists

Richard Burger received his BA in Archaeology from Yale College and his PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. After several years excavating in highland Peru, he returned to Yale in 1981 as a faculty member, and is currently the Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of Anthropology there, and Curator of South American Archeology at the Yale Peabody Museum. Burger has directed excavations at Chavín de Huántar and Huaricoto in the highlands, and at Initial Period sites along the central coast of Peru. He also has pioneered the study of obsidian sourcing and exchange in the Central Andes. Along with Lucy Salazar, he organized Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas, a major traveling exhibit that was shown in seven venues in 2003 and 2004. A modified version of this exhibit is currently being prepared for the Casa Concha in Cusco, Peru.

Sharon H. Cott is Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, responsible for overseeing the legal affairs of the Museum. As Secretary to the Board of Trustees, she is responsible for corporate governance and management of Board activities.

Ms. Cott has been Secretary and General Counsel since 1992, and supervises a staff of five attorneys. She joined the Museum in 1988. Previously, she was an associate at Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. Ms. Cott is a graduate of Yale Law School and the University of Virginia.

Rita E. Freed is the John F. Cogan and Mary L. Cornille Chair, Art of the Ancient World at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she oversees important collections of Egyptian, Nubian, Ancient Near Eastern, Greek and Roman art. She is also Adjunct Professor of Art at Wellesley College. Prior to her work in Boston, Freed was Founding Director of the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology and Associate Professor of Art at the University of Memphis. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College and received her Certificate in Museology, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

A historian of Egyptian art, Freed is best know for her organization of several international traveling exhibitions, including Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamen an examination of Egypt’s Amarna Period, Ramesses the Great: The Pharaoh and His Time featuring the many works of Egypt’s greatest builder and A Divine Tour of Ancient Egypt which examined Egyptian religion in a geographical setting. Most recently she has served as chief curator of The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 BC, an exhibition showcasing the material from the tomb of the Governor Djehutynakht, the largest known burial assemblage of the Middle Kingdom.

Freed has participated on archaeological excavations in Egypt (Bersha, Saqqara, Giza, Mendes, and Karnak), Israel (Tel Qasile) and Cyprus (Idalion), and has authored many books and articles.

Kristina Van Dyke is Curator for Collections and Research at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, where she co-manages the curatorial department and oversees the museum’s archives, library, and exhibitions department. She received her M.A. from Williams College and her Ph.D. from Harvard University, writing her dissertation on the nature of representation in the oral cultures of Mali. Since arriving at the Menil in 2005, she has curated Insistent Objects: David Levinthal’s Blackface, Chance Encounters: the Formation of the de Menils’ African Collection, and Body in Fragments and initiated exhibitions and publications on the Oceanic and Byzantine collections. In 2008, she reinstalled the African galleries and published African Art from the Menil Collection. Van Dyke is currently developing three research projects: a study of Malian antiquities and cultural heritage issues; an exhibition exploring skull imagery in sculpture from Nigeria, Cameroon, and Gabon; and an exhibition on the theme of love in contemporary African art.

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