Marine to discuss probe of Iraq Museum thefts
Fairfield University will host a talk by a Marine colonel who led the U.S. task force to investigate the pillaging of Iraq Museum's items after the U.S. invasion of Iraq at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in the Kelley Auditorium of school's Quick Center for the Arts.
Col. Matthew Bogdanos, who previously spoke at the Quick Center in April 2006, will discuss the investigation and what has changed in the realm of art theft and looting in war zones in the past five years.
A former middleweight boxer who joined the Marine Corps at age 19, Bogdanos left active duty in 1988 to join the New York County District Attorney's Office. Remaining in the Marine Corps Reserves in the 1990s, he led a counter-narcotics operation on the Mexican border and served in Desert Storm, South Korea, Lithuania, Guyana, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kosovo.
Losing his apartment near the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Bogdanos joined a counter-terrorism task force in Afghanistan, where he received a Bronze Star for actions against al-Qaeda. He then served in the Horn of Africa and three tours in Iraq -- leading the investigation into the looting of the museum -- before deploying again to Afghanistan in 2009. He received a National Humanities Medal from President Bush for his work recovering more than 6,000 of Iraq's treasures in eight countries.
General admission ticket-holders to Bogdanos's presentation will receive a free signed copy of his book written with William Patrick, "Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine's Passion to Recover the World's Greatest Stolen Treasures." Royalties from the book are donated to the museum.
He holds a classics degree from Bucknell University; a law degree and master's degree in classics from Columbia University; and a master's degree in strategic studies from the Army War College. In addition to military awards, he received the 2004 Public Service Award from the Hellenic Lawyers of America, the 2006 Distinguished Leadership Award from the Washington, D.C., Historical Society, a 2007 Proclamation from the City of New York and a 2009 Proclamation from the City of Philadelphia.
General admission to the lecture is $15, $10 for Fairfield University faculty and staff and $5 for students with a valid ID.
Tickets are available through the Quick Center box office at 203-254-4010, or online at www.quickcenter.com.