Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D. Professor and Chair

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Museum Studies, M.A.


History and Social Studies Education Department


Cynthia A. Conides, Ph. D.

Department Home page

First Reader

Cynthia A. Conides, Ph. D.

Second Reader

York A. Norman, Ph. D.


Destruction of cultural heritage sites and museums in the Middle East has become increasingly prevalent in the recent decades. This thesis aims to unravel the causes for these violent acts. It uses a socio-historical perspective of how culture, religion, and politics have polarized people and contributed to the ruination. Three museums are examined through a scope of progressive violence: The Kuwait National Museum, The National Museum of Iraq and the National Museum of Afghanistan. This thesis shows that both secular and religious factors have contributed to this destruction, and faults by international governing agencies and of investment of mitigation strategies are the causes for what came about. The research also presents ideas on what can be done to improve present circumstances.