Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes (UNESCO-Greece)

Statutes of the Prize

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Melina Mercouri International Prize (UNESCO-Greece) is to reward outstanding examples of action to safeguard and enhance the world's major cultural landscapes. It is to bear the name of Melina Mercouri, a precursor of integrated conservation and sustainable development, a memorable actress and Minister of Culture of Greece. It meets a new need, clearly identified by the World Heritage Committee, which, at its sixteenth session, held in Santa Fe in December 1992, recognized that the protection of cultural landscapes, a richer concept than the conventional one of 'monuments' or 'sites', is one of the main priorities of the present time.

2. Name and value of the prize

The prize shall be entitled the ‘Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes (UNESCO-Greece)'. This prize shall consist of a certificate and a sum of money, the amount of which shall be decided on every biennium on the basis of the funds available, account being taken of essential management costs.

3. Frequency

The prize shall be presented every two years by the Director-General of UNESCO at a public ceremony to be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris or away from Headquarters, preferably in conjunction with the General Conference. The prize shall be awarded for the first time in 1997.

4. Eligibility

The prize may be awarded either to an individual or to a group of persons, working in a personal capacity or as staff member(s) of a private or public institution.

5. Selection of the prizewinner

The prizewinner shall be selected by the Director-General of UNESCO on the recommendation of an international jury, the membership of which shall be in accordance with the provisions of Article 6 below.

6. The jury

The jury shall be composed of five members, as follows:

  • three eminent specialists in the environmental sciences and the heritage, appointed in a personal and honorary capacity by the Director-General of UNESCO, with due regard for the balanced representation of different cultural outlooks;
  • the Permanent Delegate of Greece to UNESCO, representing the Greek Government;
  • and a representative of the Director-General.

The Director-General shall appoint a member of the Secretariat to act as secretary to the jury. The jury shall adopt its own rules of procedure.

7. Nomination of candidates

(a) Candidates for the prize may be nominated either by the governments of Member States, preferably in consultation with their National Commissions, or by relevant NGOs having official relations with UNESCO. Only one candidate may be nominated in each case.

(b) The nomination papers shall include a biographical statement for each candidate in the case of private individuals, or a description of the organization responsible in the case of a legal entity.

(c) They shall also include a detailed and illustrated statement justifying the proposal of the cultural landscape in respect of which the candidate is being nominated, and an assessment of achievements. The deadline for the submission of nominations and nomination papers to the Director-General shall be 1 November of the year prior to the award of the prize, i.e. 1 November 1996 in the case of the first award of the prize.

8. Criteria

(a) The landscapes proposed in connection with the nomination must fit the definition of at least one of the three categories of cultural landscapes decided on by the World Heritage Committee at its sixteenth session (Santa Fe, 1992, see appendix).

(b) Nevertheless, since the concept of cultural landscapes corresponds to new perceptions, nominations in respect of landscapes not fitting exactly into this typology may be considered in exceptional cases, provided that such landscapes illustrate exemplary achievements in respect of research, education or the promotion of public awareness.

9. Duration

The prize shall be established for an indefinite period. In the event of the founders deciding by mutual agreement no longer to award the prize, the balance outstanding shall remain at UNESCO's disposal after deduction of all obligations already incurred at the time that it is decided to discontinue the prize

Submission Form


Circular Letters


Melina Mercouri International Prize (UNESCO-Greece)
UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Europe and North America Section
7 Place Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP


States parties (1)