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Lecture by Stuart Mather Gibson: "Saving Iraq's Cultural Heritage"

From site: Gould Library

Lecture by Stuart Mather Gibson - "Saving Iraq's Cultural Heritage." Gibson specializes in assisting cultural organizations and governments during economic and political transition.

Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Time: 4:30 pm

Location: Gould Library Athenaeum

Contact: Martha Paas, Economics Department, x4109

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This event is presented in conjunction with the exhibit Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art.

About Stuart Mather Gibson

Stuart Mather Gibson specializes in assisting cultural organizations and governments during economic and political transition. Over fifteen years experience promoting the development of the culture sector in Central Asia, Caucasus, Central Eastern Europe, the Baltics, Balkins, the FSU, and the Middle East primarily in the areas of management change and development, international relations, public/private fund raising, marketing and merchandising, and enhancement of financial systems.

Lobbying activities in the United States, Russia, Central Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, include invited appearances before the U. S. Congress, public speaking, and university lecturing.

Work History:

  • 1992 - Present. Independent Consultant. Promoting non-profit cultural organizations and governments primarily in Central Asia, Caucasus, Central Eastern Europe, Baltic, Balkans, the FSU, China, and the
    Middle East through the introduction of enhanced management skills and linkages with organisations in Western Europe and North America.
  • Director, Hermitage UNESCO Project (St. Petersburg, Russia). At the request of President of the Russian Federation, Project was initiated in 1993 as a joint effort between the State Hermitage Museum, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, and United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to assist the Hermitage in developing its master plan. The Project was described by Russian Government as one of the most successful cultural projects undertaken by the United Nations in Russia. The Project has underwritten over 30 initiatives primarily focusing on organization and management changes, the introduction of new legal and governance thinking, enhancement of budgeting and tendering policies, fund raising, and restoration. The Project also acts as a liaison between the museum and numerous international organisations and assists the museum in its international fund raising efforts. Beginning in 2003 the Project focused on sharing expertise acquired by the Hermitage over the past decade with other museums and cultural institutions in Russia and FSU. Secretary, International Advisory Board. Under the aegis of the Project an International Advisory Board composed of internationally renowned museum directors was established. The Board advises the museum directorate on various issues. Member, Hermitage International Merchandising Working Group. The Working Group is developing an international merchandising strategy for the Hermitage. Member, Greater Hermitage Project. The Project is overseeing the development of the General Staff Building into a multi-purpose museum facility and the development and deployment of the museum’s long term Master Plan. Member (UNESCO Representative), Coordinating Committee for Relations with United Nations Programs and Institutions. The Committee coordinates the activities of all United Nations organisations with the administration of the City of St. Petersburg. Advisor to the Ministry of Culture of Iraq. Assisting the Ministry in the definition, organization, and deployment of an international foundation supporting Iraqi cultural heritage, artists rights, and international cooperation. (2004)
  • Advisor to the Ministry of Culture of Georgia on developing fundraising and educational outreach for museums in the South Caucasus. (2003).
  • Chief Technical Advisor of an inter-governmental conference, Preservation and Development of Cultural Life in the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, (Budapest, 1997). The conference attended by representatives of the Ministries of Culture and Finance from fourteen Central and Eastern European countries including Russia, representatives from the Council of Europe, European Union, the President of Hungary, and the Director-General of UNESCO. The conference focused on changes in the funding and management of the for-profit and non-profit cultural sectors and the development of cultural policy since the decline of socialist-state financing. Conference sponsored by Ministry of Education and Culture of Hungary, Council of Europe, the European Union, and UNESCO.
  • Advisor to the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria on the development and deployment of cultural policy, the reorganisation of the non-profit culture sector, and the development of the for-profit culture sector (1995-1997); organised an international conference, Financing and Privatisation of the Culture Sector (Sofia, 1995).
  • Chief Technical Advisor and Supervisor of a two-year development project,Funding Culture in Central Asia, aimed at defining a finance strategy for the culture sector in the five Central Asian Republics. The project also included two inter-governmental conferences (Tashkent, 1995 and 1996).
  • Advisor to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of The Netherlands on policies and approaches to international funding for culture at risk (1995-1996).
  • Advisor to the Ministry of Culture of Croatia on the reorganisation and management of the cultural sector, and the development of cultural policy in the aftermath of the war in the former Yugoslavia (1993-1996).
  • Chief Technical Advisor and Organiser of an international conference, Funding Culture in the Former Socialist Countries (Ulan Baatar, Mongolia, 1994).
  • Conference attended by representatives from the governments of Central Asia, Russia, China, and Viet Nam. Advisor to the Ministry of Culture of Mongolia on funding (national and international) and management of the non-profit cultural sector, and the development and deployment of cultural policy (1994-1996).
  • Lecturer on the financing and management of the culture sector in the socialist countries: Imperial College (London), Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Strategiques (Paris), Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest), Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski (Sofia), University of Zagreb (Zagreb). Sultan Qaboos University (Muscat).


  • BFA, New York University, New York, USA
  • MBA, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris, FRANCE
  • PhD, Imperial College, London, GREAT BRITAIN

Selected Publications:

  • Financing Culture In the Former Socialist Economies, UNESCO, World Decade for Culture Studies Series, Paris, 1995
  • Funding The Culture Sector In The Period Of Transition To A Market Economy; Culturelink, Institute
    for International Relations, Zagreb, 1996
  • Changes In The Financing of Culture In Central Eastern Europe Since 1989; Hungarian Ministry of
    Education and Culture, Budapest, 1997
  • Investing In Culture In The Central Asian Republics; Studies and Reports on Cultural Research and
    Management, UNESCO, Paris, 1999
  • The Hermitage and Institutional Change: A Leap into the Twenty-first Century; Museum International, UNESCO, Paris, 2003