Carmen Añón Feliú is a landscape architect by training. As a specialist in historic gardens, she has overseen conservation projects at the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid for twenty-five years, as well as teaching the history of gardens and restoration of cultural landscapes at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM).
A long-standing member of ICOMOS, she was Vice-President of the Spanish National Committee of ICOMOS and Honorary President of the ICOMOS-IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including Jardín y naturaleza en el reinado de Felipe II, collective work in 1998, and Jardins en Espagne in 1999.
Her involvement in World Heritage dates back to the 1980s, when she was involved in the evaluation of cultural nominations with ICOMOS. From 1993 to 1999, she attended the meetings of the World Heritage Committee as a member of the ICOMOS Board of Directors and then as Advisor to the Spanish delegation from 2001 onwards.
The following audio excerpts are from an interview with Carmen Añón Feliú by Christina Cameron in June 2009 in Madrid, Spain. Carmen Añón Feliú talks about the long and rich experience of World Heritage that she gained through her two roles, first with ICOMOS and then with the Spanish delegation. Through a clear and determined lens, she links issues of inscription of properties on the World Heritage List with those of their conservation, affirms the importance of the work of the advisory bodies and questions the role of the World Heritage Centre. Above all, she calls for a return to the original values of peace, sharing and communication among the cultures set forth in 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).