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Tamás Fejérdy

Oral Archives of the
World Heritage Convention

Tamás Fejérdy is a Hungarian architect. After completing a Masters in architecture at the Technical University of Budapest in 1970, he specialized in heritage conservation following the first UNESCO-ICOMOS internship on the preservation of historic cities in 1978, before completing doctoral studies in monuments conservation at the Technical University of Budapest in 1981.

He completed his thesis on the protection of sites and historic districts in Hungary in 1984. He obtained the title of Doctor of Liberal Arts at the University of Pécs in 2009. Between 1976 and 2013, he held various management positions in the state organization responsible for the preservation of monuments in Hungary. He is also a lecturer at several universities in Hungary, where he teaches, among other things, about World Heritage and the legal and institutional protection of cultural heritage.

Tamás Fejérdy chaired the 2002 session of the World Heritage Committee in Budapest. A member of ICOMOS since 1983, he was vice-president between 2005 and 2008. He was also head of the International Committee of Historic Towns and Villages (CIVVIH) from 1992 to 2002. He led several evaluation missions for sites nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List (Kutna Hora, Weimar, Graz, Kazan, Gjirocastra). In addition, he participated in several important international meetings such as the two Nara meetings in 1994 and 2004. He also contributed to the drafting of the International Charter for the Safeguarding of Historic Cities (Washington Charter) in 1987. He has authored "Approaching 40 years old: World Heritage Now and Its Possible Future" in Conserving the Authentic: Essays in honour of Jukka Jokilehto (ICCROM Conservation Studies 10, ICCROM, 2009), and "The Intangible Dimension of Tangible Heritage: A Hungarian Approach " in the Proceedings of the International Conference on the Safeguarding of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage: Towards an Integrated Approach held in 2004 in Nara, Japan.

Interview with
Tamás Fejérdy
11 May 2018, Budapest, Hungary

The following audio excerpts come from an interview conducted with Tamás Fejérdy by Christina Cameron the 11 May 2018 in Budapest. The interviewee recounts his experience as President of the World Heritage Committee and deplores the consequences of the politicization of the Convention. He also looks at some of the key decisions of the Committee that have influenced the implementation of the Convention, whether in relation to the implementation of specific policies (Global Strategy, rotation of Committee members) or to specific sites. Finally, he emphasizes the importance of the synergy between tangible and intangible heritage.

    • 1. The World Heritage Convention
    • 1a.Involvement and role of Tamás Fejérdy in World Heritage
    • 1b. Key objectives of the Convention
    • 1c. The Cairns reform agenda
    • 1d. Decisions and specific cases influencing the implementation of the Convention
    • 1e. Successes / failures of the Convention
    • 2. The World Heritage Committee
    • 3. The advisory bodies : ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN
    • 4. Conservation efforts of States Parties
    • 5. Intentional destruction of World Heritage
    • 6. Role of civil society

Oral Archives of the
World Heritage Convention

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).

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Keywords 1
Date Start: Friday, 11 May 2018
Date end: Friday, 11 May 2018