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Historic Annapolis to host Smithsonian scholar Dr. Richard Kurin


What happens to the cultural heritage of a place when its citizens encounter natural disaster, war, terrorism, and other catastrophes? Historic Annapolis, a Smithsonian Affiliate, will host renowned scholar Dr. Richard Kurin of the Smithsonian Institution for a special presentation about the efforts to help communities protect and preserve their histories when faced with endangerment due to natural disasters and human conflict.

A free lecture will be held at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis at 7 pm on Monday, April 17, 2023. The event is open to the public, but advance registration is requested at The presentation will be followed by a Q & A.

Dr. Kurin will highlight the role the Smithsonian plays as a leader in responding to national and international cultural crises by providing disaster response assistance for heritage colleagues throughout the world, and raising awareness for threatened cultural heritage. Hear stories of how the Smithsonian has helped protect resources from terrorism, trained local professionals, developed new techniques for monitoring and predicting destruction, and helped with the recovery of institutions, artifacts, and antiquities following disasters like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Dr. Kurin will also concentrate on current efforts in Ukraine to safeguard Ukrainian history and identity, and how the Smithsonian is providing supplies, equipment, and training for the country’s cultural professionals to protect valued collections and facilities. He also explains his team’s effort to monitor cultural sites in Ukraine and document damage and destruction – potential war crimes – via satellite sensors and imagery.

Dr. Kurin is the Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large of the Smithsonian Institution and founder of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative. Dr. Kurin is a Fulbright scholar who earned his PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago. During his 46 years at the Smithsonian, Kurin has served as the Smithsonian’s Acting Provost and as the long-time Under Secretary, overseeing all the Institution’s national museums, scientific research centers, and cultural programs. He has been a leader at the forefront of saving cultural heritage, working with national and international partners and governments to safeguard heritage from threat throughout the world.

This event is presented by Historic Annapolis and Smithsonian Affiliations, and made possible by our Supporting Partner, Marion Brenner, Annapolis Fine Homes, Long & Foster Real Estate, and our Venue Partner, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.