November 22, 2006


Dorothy & Donny

I'm glad to see that Dr. Dorothy King got to know the real Dr. Donny George: "I can't go into details of my interview of Dr. George today as I promised it to Minerva*, but I will say that I have changed my mind about the man completely. He had solid answers for every question, and the evidence he showed during his lecture [at the British Museum, see my November 17 post Donny George moving to Stony Brook] clarified a lot of issues I had had with press reports about the looting of the Iraq Museum. There is nothing more that he could have done to safeguard the Museum, and the Americans had other priorities. And the worst 'evidence' I was given against him was frankly rather silly. There is propaganda on both sides. ... the man is brilliant and came across as being honest and deeply committed to Iraq and Iraqi archaeology. I was very impressed with all the work he is continuing to do for Iraqi archaeology, still collaborating with those now in charge, and that he has maintained friendly relations with his successors, contrary to press reports. They all want to do their best for Iraqi archaeology rather than get involved in politics. I've hugely miss-judged the man, and apologise for it. I'm often surprised how little some American officials I meet know about Islam/Muslim culture or the Middle East. If the State Department and Pentagon have any sense, they'll get Dr. George to advise them."

• D. King, "Iraqi Archaeology and Donny George," in PhDiva, online, November 17, 2006


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