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Francesco Bandarin (2014)

Oral Archives of the
World Heritage Convention

Francesco Bandarin is an Italian architect and urban planner. He holds a degree in Architecture from the Venice Institute of Architecture and a Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. He has pursued an academic career at the IUAV University of Venice as a professor of urban planning, as well as working as a consultant for international organizations in the field of urban conservation and development.

In this regard, he was Director of the Special Projects Bureau for the Safeguarding of Venice and its Lagoon and Director of Special Programs for the Preparations for the Jubilee 2000 in Rome. In 2000, he became Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, a position he held for ten years. He subsequently served as UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture from 2010 to 2014. His term of office was renewed in 2015 for an interim period.

Francesco Bandarin is also president of the Associazione Nazionale Centri Storico-Artistici (ANCSA) and member of the editorial committee of the journal City, Culture and Society. He was a member of the selection committee for the Aga Khan Architecture Award for the 2014-2016 cycle. Author of numerous articles and specialized publications, he recently co-authored The Historic Urban Landscape: Managing in an Urban Century (2012) and Reconnecting the City. The Historic Urban Landscape Approach and the Future of Urban Heritage (2014), published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Interview with
Francesco Bandarin
June 2014, Doha, Qatar

The audio clips are from two interviews with Francesco Bandarin by Christina Cameron and Mechtild Rössler in June 2014 in Doha, Qatar. They retrace his main challenges and achievements during his years at the World Heritage Centre and as Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO, including the creation of Category 2 Centres, the establishment of public and private partnerships, and the development of the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape.

  • 1. Involvement of Francesco Bandarin as Director of the World Heritage Centre
  • 1a. Internal reform of the World Heritage Centre
  • 1b. Reform of the World Heritage Committee, establishment of Category 2 Centres and establishment of partnerships
  • 1c. Process for monitoring the state of conservation of World Heritage sites, Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape and specific projects
  • 2. Involvement of Francesco Bandarin as Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO
  • 2a. A common platform for UNESCO's cultural Conventions
  • 2b. Budgetary crisis and new divisions
  • 3. World Heritage List: length and representativity
  • 4. World Heritage Committee: balance between experts and diplomats

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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Date Start: Friday, 20 June 2014
Date end: Sunday, 22 June 2014