UNESCO World Heritage Centre pays tribute to Jukka Jokilehto
The World Heritage community deeply mourns the death of Jukka Jokilehto who passed away on 23 November 2023.
Jukka Jokilehto was a Finnish architect and urban planner and his involvement in World Heritage dates back to 1972 when he joined the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) as coordinator of the programme in architectural and urban conservation. From 1988 to 1997, he attended all the meetings of the World Heritage Committee as a representative of ICCROM, and from 2000 to 2006 as an evaluator and presenter for the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). He was an expert on authenticity, on the notion of Outstanding Universal Value, and the management of cultural sites. He participated in numerous expert meetings on World Heritage, including the Nara meeting in 1994 that resulted in the Nara Document on Authenticity. Recipient of the ICCROM Award in 2000, he published Management Guidelines for World Cultural Heritage Sites (ICCROM, 1993) with Sir Bernard Feilden, A History of Architectural Conservation (Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999) and ICCROM and the Conservation of Cultural Heritage: A History of the Organization’s first 50 Years, 1959-2009 (ICCROM, 2011). Nicholas Stanley-Price and Joseph King edited a volume on Conserving the Authentic: Essays in honour of Jukka Jokilehto (ICCROM, 2009).
Jukka retired in 1998 as Assistant to the Director General of ICCROM and was responsible for the training and conservation education of generations of conservation professionals worldwide. In recent years he had been involved in the development of conservation plans and management plans, such as the one in Bam, Iran, and has advised many countries (China, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Norway, to name a few) in their preparation of World Heritage nominations. He was also an honorary professor at the University of York, Professor Emeritus, University of Nova Gorica in Slovenia and Special Advisor to the Director-General of ICCROM.
His depth of knowledge in the history and theory of conservation and built heritage conservation in general and urban heritage, in particular, made him one of the most respected scholars internationally. His dedication to sharing this knowledge continued long after he retired and will continue as his legacy for us all. We mourn Jukka with our ICCROM and ICOMOS colleagues and our thoughts and condolences also go to his family and loved ones.