Henry Cleere

After studying English language and literature, Henry Cleere had a career in iron and steel for nearly twenty years before turning to archeology. In 1980, he earned a Ph.D. from the Institute of Archeology at University College London for his research on the iron industry in Roman Britain. He was Director of the Council for British Archaeology from 1974 to 1991. He was a member of the Board of Directors of ICOMOS from 1981 to 1990, and contributed to the creation of the International Committee on the Management of the Archaeological Heritage in 1984 as well as to the drafting of the International Charter for the Management of the Archaeological Heritage of 1990.

It was not until 1992 that he became involved in the Convention, when he served as Coordinator of World Heritage for ICOMOS in Paris. Until 2002 he used his experience and professional knowledge to improve the evaluation process for cultural property, with a focus on the conservation and management of sites as well as the introduction of in situ missions. During this period, he presented about 350 sites to the World Heritage Committee and participated in the Nara meeting on authenticity. A founding member of the European Association of Archaeologists, he has also been an honorary professor at the Institute of Archeology, University College London, since 1998. In recent years he has worked as a consultant to the World Monuments Fund, the Global Heritage Fund and several countries, including China. He has published two major books on archaeological heritage management: Approaches to the Archaeological Heritage (Cambridge University Press, 1984) and Archaeological Heritage Management in the Modern World (Unwin Hyman, 1989).

The audio excerpts come from an interview with Henry Cleere by Christina Cameron in January 2008 in London. Mr. Cleere explains his role as an ICOMOS World Heritage Coordinator and draws on his long experience to comment on issues such as the performance of the Advisory Bodies, the Committee's political decisions and the recognition of new types of heritage.

UNESCO, World Heritage Oral Archives, Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage, University of Montreal, audio interview of Henry Cleere by Christina Cameron, London, United Kingdom, 24 January 2008.