Herb Stovel

A graduate in architecture from McGill University in Montreal, Herb Stovel became a world leader in heritage conservation and management. His impressive career included work as an academic, consultant and member of several international organizations. He taught in the University of Montreal's Built Environment Conservation Program from 1990 to 1993 and then in the Canadian Studies program at Carleton University from 2006 until his death in 2012. Involved in several conservation organizations, he was President of the Association for Preservation Technology from 1989 to 1991, Secretary General of ICOMOS from 1990 to 1993, President of ICOMOS Canada from 1993 to 1997 and Director Of the Heritage Settlements Unit at ICCROM from 1998 to 2004. In 2011, he received the ICCROM Prize for his important contribution to the field of conservation and protection of cultural heritage.

Herb Stovel’s formal involvement with World Heritage began in 1990 at the annual session of the World Heritage Committee in Banff. During his tenure as Secretary General of ICOMOS, he coordinated the evaluation process for cultural properties proposed for inscription. He was subsequently one of the main editors of the Nara Document on Authenticity in 1994. At ICCROM, he coordinated the organization's advisory role to the World Heritage Committee on management and training issues. Among his numerous publications are Risk Preparedness: A Management Manual for World Cultural Heritage jointly published by ICOMOS, ICCROM and the World Heritage Center in 1998. More recently, he also published (with Nicholas Stanley- Price and Robert Killick) Conservation of Living Religious Heritage, published by ICCROM in 2005.

The following audio excerpts are from three interviews with Herb Stovel by Christina Cameron in February, March and April 2011. They highlight his leading role in the development of the World Heritage Convention and testify to his positive and critical views about its implementation. With his multi-faceted experience of the Convention, Herb Stovel offers frank and philosophic comments on the objectives, achievements and challenges of the various actors involved in the complex workings of World Heritage.

UNESCO, World Heritage Oral Archives, Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage, University of Montreal, audio interview of Herb Stovel by Christina Cameron, Ottawa, Canada, 3 February, 16 March and 5 April 2011.