On January 24, 2014, the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, Egypt, was heavily damaged by a truck bomb directed at the police station directly across the street. In August 2014, staff from the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) organized a joint mission to the museum to ascertain the state of collections stabilization and conservation.

The mission team consisted of Corine Wegener, Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer at the Smithsonian and Chair, International Council of Museums Disaster Relief Task Force; Stephanie Hornbeck, conservation consultant to the Smithsonian and Director, Caryatid Conservation Services; Karen Stamm and Daniel Hausdorf, objects conservators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and France Desmarais, Director of Programs and Development, International Council of Museums. Over three days the team met with staff of the museum and learned about their response and recovery after the bombing. They discussed conservation needs going forward and also met with Ministry of Antiquities staff to discuss future opportunities for collaboration among the three museum organizations. Later that year, two museum conservators participated in a conservation fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and spent a week in residence at the Smithsonian.

  • (Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative / Corine Wegener)