Françoise Bercé is Honorary General Conservator of Heritage in France. She studied at the École nationale des chartes before taking over the archives and collections of the Directorate of Architecture and Heritage (now integrated into the Directorate General of Heritage), then Inspector General of Heritage.
Co-founder of the journal Monumental, she has published numerous books on the doctrine for the conservation and restoration of historic monuments, as well as on architecture from the 18th century to the present day. She is the author of a collection of the minutes of the Commission des monuments historiques between 1837 and 1848 (A. and J. Picard, 1979) and a monograph on Viollet-le-Duc (Édition du patrimoine, Centre des monuments nationaux, 2013).
Françoise Bercé was part of France's delegation to the World Heritage Committee from 1990 to 1996. She also participated in the expert meeting on the Global Strategy for World Heritage natural and cultural properties in Amsterdam in 1998.
The following audio excerpts are from an interview with Françoise Bercé by Christina Cameron the 28 March 2019 in Paris, France. She shares with us her reminiscences of key issues in the implementation of the Convention in the 1990s, such as the recognition of cultural landscapes and the links between culture and nature, authenticity and representativity of the World Heritage List. She also evokes her memories of Michel Parent and Léon Pressouyre, two World Heritage pioneers that she knew well.
Under the leadership of the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage at the University of Montreal, an international team of researchers conducts interviews with pioneers of World Heritage to capture memories of important moments in the history of UNESCO Convention.
Launched in 2006, this initiative is part of the UNESCO History project that celebrated the 60th anniversary of the creation of UNESCO. The Oral Archives project records the precious witness of people closely associated with the creation and implementation of the Convention. Their recollections and views have greatly enriched the book by Christina Cameron and Mechtild Rössler, Many Voices, One Vision: The Early Years of the World Heritage Convention (Ashgate/Routledge, 2013).