The World Heritage Centre deeply regrets to announce the passing away, in Paris on Monday 27 September, of Michel Batisse (1923-2004), UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Science from 1972 to1984 and one of the founding fathers of the 1972 World Heritage Convention.

He played a critical role in the preparation and negotiation of this Convention, by guaranteeing the rightful place of natural heritage. Michel Batisse described some of the principal obstacles that had to be overcome before the Convention was adopted and ratified by the international community, in an historical review , L'invention du patrimoine mondial, prepared with his colleague Gerald Bolla and published in 2003 by the Association of Former UNESCO Staff.