Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.


Alissandra Cummins

Oral Archives of the
World Heritage Convention

Following studies in art history at the University of East Anglia, Alissandra Cummins completed her Masters in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester in England. Originally from Barbados, she specializes in heritage, museum development and Caribbean art.

Director of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society since 1985, she is also editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage and lecturer at the University of the West Indies. Between 1999 and 2004, she chaired the Advisory Council of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) before being elected President of that same organization from 2004 to 2010. She received the Gold Crown of Merit from the Order of Barbados in 2005. Her publications include Plantation to Nation: Caribbean Museums and National Identity, which she co-edited in 2013.

Alissandra Cummins has been involved with UNESCO for many years. President of the Barbados National Commission for UNESCO since 1999, she was elected to head UNESCO's Executive Board for the period 2012-2013. Previously, she was Chair of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Country of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation (2003-2005) and the International Advisory Committee for the Program Memory of the World (2007-2009). Following the election of Barbados to the World Heritage Committee in 2007, she served as Rapporteur at the Committee's session in 2008, and then as Vice-President in 2009 and 2011. Equally active at the regional level, she was Secretary of the Caribbean Conservation Association (1988-1990), President of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology (1991-1995) and founder President of the Museums Association of the Caribbean (1989 - 1992).

Interview with
Alissandra Cummins
7 July 2017 in Krakow, Poland

The following audio excerpts are from an interview with Alissandra Cummins by Christina Cameron the 7 July 2017 in Krakow. Ms. Cummins emphasized the importance for Small Island Developing States to claim their place in the activities of the World Heritage Convention, both locally and internationally. In view of the heavy workload of the World Heritage Centre, she encourages all States Parties to become more involved and cooperate more in the work of the Convention.

  • 1. The World Heritage Convention
  • 1a. Involvement and role of Alissandra Cummins in World Heritage
  • 1b. Key Objectives of the World Heritage Convention
  • 1c. The reform agenda at Cairns
  • 1d. Decisions and specific cases influencing the implementation of the Convention
  • 1e. The World Heritage Convention vis-à-vis other conventions
  • 1f. Successes and failures of the Convention
  • 2. The World Heritage Committee
  • 3. The Advisory Bodies : performance of IUCN, ICOMOS and ICCROM
  • 4. The secretariat of UNESCO
  • 5. Conservation efforts of States Parties

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).

Listen more Interviews

Keywords 1
Date Start: Friday, 7 July 2017
Date end: Friday, 7 July 2017