Paris - UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor expressed sadness over the reported death yesterday of Raymond Lemaire, his special advisor and representative on the cultural heritage of Jerusalem.

"UNESCO has lost one of its most outstanding experts. No cultural site or monument in the world was foreign to Raymond Lemaire," Mr Mayor said. "He applied his great expertise as one of the editors of the 1964 Venice Charter, which remains the reference work of professionals in the field of cultural heritage.".

In 1967, Mr Lemaire was appointed personal representative to former UNESCO Director-General Rene Maheu and charged with preparing a report for the Organization's Executive Board and General Conference on the state of monuments and sites in Jerusalem, whose Old City and Walls are inscribed on the World Heritage List.  He was retained in this post by the subsequent Directors-General Amadou Mahtar M'Bow and Federico Mayor.

President of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) from 1975 to 1981, Mr Lemaire had been a central figure since the creation of that non-governmental organization and remained one of its most ardent advocates. He also carried out technical assessments in most of the world's regions as part of his diverse teaching and management activities at the Louvain Centre (Belgium), an institution specialized in the training of conservation experts.

The Director-General sent a message of condolence to Mrs. Lemaire as well as to the Belgian government.