Advisory Panel CVs


Işik Aydemir (Turkey)
President of the Scientific Council of Europa Nostra
Former Dean of the Faculty of Architecture of Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul

Işik Aydemir, for his contributions in the field of architecture, has won three first-prizes and various awards in national and international competitions. He has also served as as a jury member in many international competitions, including the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards in the Category Research. Specializing in the restoration and revalorization of historic buildings and fortifications, and in the urban conservation of Istanbul’s city walls, he has authored a number of articles that have been published both in Turkey and abroad. This includes his 1996 research project on the development of monuments in the historical context of Semerkand. He has helped mitigate educational and scientific exchange programs with several schools of architecture in France, Germany, Italy and Austria. From 1994 to 2004, he worked as a teacher and jury member of the workshops on the renovation of residential neighborhoods in the historic center of Mostar. He has been active in international heritage organizations, including serving as president of the Turkish-French Cultural Association in Istanbul. He was elected in 2004 as a foreign member of the Academy of Architecture in Paris, and is also a member of ICOMOS and is a Chevallier of l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques. He has been an active member of the Europa Nostra Scientific Council since 2000, lending his professional expertise to a number of study reports, working groups and as a jury member.



Costa Carras (Greece)
Senior Vice-President and Council member of Europa Nostra
Founding President of Elliniki Etairia

Costa Carras’ involvement in the conservation and ecology movement began in 1972 when, with his wife Lydia, he founded Elliniki Etairia – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage. He served twice as its Chairman (1972-75 and 2001-08) and once as Chairman of its Council for the Architectural Heritage (2008-11). He has represented Elliniki Etairia in Europa Nostra since 1973 and has been Vice-President of Europa Nostra since 1976. His most recently published work in Greek, Imiteles Topio (2011), contains several of his most relevant speeches and articles.
He was the organiser on behalf of Elliniki Etairia of the ground-breaking 1988 meeting on Religion and the Environment in Patmos and took part in subsequent Orthodox Christian meetings on environmental issues in Ormylia, Halkidiki and Kolymbari in Crete. In the 1980s, Costa Carras served as Co-Chairman of the British Council of Churches’ Commission on Trinitarian Doctrine. He co-edited Living Orthodoxy in the Modern World (SPCK, 1996), which has been translated into Greek, Russian and Rumanian. He is a lay Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Co-founder in 1995 and Member of the Board of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe, he has been the Rapporteur for the Center’s ‘Joint History Project’ since its inception in 1999. The Joint History Project has produced six workbooks on the history of the region, namely “The Ottoman Empire”, “Nations and States”, “The Balkan Wars”, “World War II”, the Cold War (1944-1990), and Wars, Divisions, Integrations (1990-2008)
Costa Carras obtained a Double First in Ancient Greek and Latin Literature, and in Philosophy and Ancient History from Trinity College, Oxford, and subsequently worked for many years in international shipping.



Laurent Lévi-Strauss (France)
Council member of Europa Nostra
Jury Member, Category Dedicated Service

Laurent Lévi-Strauss is Chargé de Mission to the President of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris and former Chargé de Mission to the Director of the project for the new Musée de l’Homme (Museum of Man). He is member of the Europa Nostra Council, and, also, member of the Commission of Ethics for the Museums of the City of Geneva.
During some 15 years, he worked at UNESCO, namely as Deputy Director of the Division of Cultural Heritage, where he supervised the implementation of numerous international safeguarding projects, as for Angkor, Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia and Herzegovina, among others, and later the operational and juridical activities for the support of museums and the safeguarding of cultural objects, including the implementation of international conventions. Previously, he worked at the French Ministry of Culture, as Deputy-Director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, then as Director of the Office of the President of the public television channel Antenne 2 (now France 2).
He holds a diploma of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris and a doctorate (PhD) in Sociology from the University of Paris X. He has published several books and articles concerning cultural heritage and its preservation.



Charles Pictet (Switzerland)
Banker, Council member of Europa Nostra

Charles Pictet has had a long career in private banking which began in 1969 in the eponymous house Pictet & Cie. There he became a Senior Partner for almost 10 years until 2005, the moment at which he joined the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Throughout the years, he was also member of various professional committees and councils.
However, Charles Pictet has always wanted to juggle his passion for his work and family life, with his spouse and three children, with a very active career in the cultural domain, his second field of expertise. He realised this aspiration within Pictet’s bank which has always had a proud tradition of supporting various organizations or projects in this field. Today the bank supports cultural programs through a foundation while Mr. Pictet does so, on a personal basis, in particular as a former President of the Circle of the Grand Théâtre de Genève from 2002 to 2010. He has also been the Vice-President of the Council of Foundation of the International Red Cross Museum since 2007; a Foundation which has steered the development of the new Musée de l’Espoir (Museum of Hope) meant to open in May 2013. Finally, Mr Pictet has also been acting for a project he is very proud of, the restoration of the windmills of Patmos which won a European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award in 2012. Charles Pictet has always seen culture as heritage that should be protected as a whole, and therefore has developed interests related to the fields of music, charity and architecture.



Rienko Wilton (Netherlands)
Founding Secretary of Europa Nostra’s Industrial and Engineering Heritage Committee (IEHC)

Growing up at his grandfather’s shipyard in Rotterdam and destined to become the fourth generation of shipbuilding naval architects, Rienko Wilton’s career followed a different path. He obtained a Master’s degree in Contemporary History of the Balkans and the Middle East at the University of Amsterdam and served as a Beirut based Middle East Correspondent for the Dutch and Belgian media in the 1970s. He joined the Dutch Diplomatic Service in 1982 and held postings in The Hague, Canberra, Bonn (as Cultural Attaché), Stockholm and Valletta (as Ambassador).
Wilton joined Europa Nostra as a volunteer in 2006. He was the driving force behind the creation of Europa Nostra’s IEHC in 2008 and served as its Secretary until 2016. The IEHC has been active in various fields: not only in trying to save endangered industrial heritage (Berliner Gaslight, Colbert Swing Bridge,Dieppe (France) and Venice’s Arsenale, for example) but also in advising at political level (Industrial Heritage Report for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, for example).
Since 2009, Rienko Wilton has been an Assessor for the Jury of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. In 2011, Wilton was appointed member of Europa Nostra’s Audit Committee. In that same year, he was a member of the Organising Committee of Europa Nostra’s Annual Congress in Amsterdam. For the last eight years, Rienko Wilton has coordinated the organisation of excursions to industrial heritage sites in the cities that have hosted Europa Nostra’s Congress, namely Istanbul, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Athens, Vienna, Oslo, Madrid and Turku.



Guy Clausse (Luxembourg)
Director, Special Advisor to the Director-General, Projects Directorate
European Investment Bank (EIB)

Guy Clausse studied Economics and Business Administration at the Universität zu Köln (Diplom-Volkswirt 1975; Dr.rer.pol. 1979).
He worked as a Teaching Assistant at Cologne University from 1972 to 1975, and as an Assistant Professor until 1980. He then became the Executive Secretary of the Instituto de Estudos para o Desenvolvimento in Lisbon; being on secondment from the Research Department of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Bonn.
Guy Clausse joined the European Investment Bank (EIB) in 1985 as a senior economist in the Economic Studies Department, and then became Coordinator and Head of Division within the Lending Operations and Projects Directorates. In 2004 he took up the position of Associate Director of the Policy Support Department. In 2007 Clausse was appointed Director of the Convergence and Environment Department and then of the Environment and Regional Development Department. He has been a Special Advisor to the Director-General since 2011.
Guy Clausse was nominated as Dean of the recently created EIB Institute in 2014 and continues to cooperate with the EIB Institute, following his retirement at the end of 2015. He is a committee member of several social and charitable associations.



Tom Hackett (United Kingdom)
Former and Honorary Director General of European Investment Bank (EIB)

Tom Hackett was, until August 2012 when he retired, a Member of the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Executive Director of the European Investment Bank (EIB) with a remit to help develop activity between the two international financial institutions in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Before joining the EBRD in May 2010, Tom Hackett was Director-General at EIB from July 2005 and was in charge of its lending to the 27 Member States of the EU, Turkey and the Western Balkans. During that period, and especially in response to the financial and economic crisis, EIB’s European annual lending rose to 75 billion euro. Prior to that, he was in charge of EIB lending in various EU regions including Poland and the Nordic countries (from 2004), Italy and Greece (from 1999) and the UK (from 1994). Tom Hackett began his EIB career in 1981 in capital markets and his banking career in 1968 with S. G. Warburg.
Tom Hackett is a trustee of Fulham Palace Trust, of Bishop Creighton House, Fulham, London (and on the Finance Committee of both) and of Voluntary Action Worthing. He is a Director of Retail Charity Bonds Plc, a platform to enable charities to obtain long-term funding for self-financing projects.



John Sell (United Kingdom)
Executive Vice-President of Europa Nostra

John Sell is an architect and has worked on a wide range of historic buildings for more than 35 years. His clients include the European Union, the British Council, English Heritage, the Crown Estate and the National Trust.
Sell is Executive Vice-President of Europa Nostra, Chair of the Joint Committee of National Amenity Societies (UK), which brings together all the national non-governmental bodies concerned with the historic environment mentioned in planning legislation, and Chair of the Historic Environment Forum, which brings together all the major governmental and non-governmental heritage bodies in England. He has particular experience in working in Central and Eastern Europe and in tourism projects based on cultural heritage. He was part of the team which prepared pilot ‘heritage trail’ projects in Bulgaria and Slovenia and was organiser of a conference in Bosnia-Herzegovina on ‘Sustainable Development in Rural Areas’ to develop ‘bottom-up’ methodologies for local development and participation.
Publications include ‘First Aid Repair to War Damaged Buildings’ (published in English and Croatian) and ‘Heritage and Reconciliation in Bosnia’. John Sell has lectured widely on conservation matters, particularly on conservation philosophy and the social value of the historic environment.



Graham Bell (United Kingdom)
Council Member of Europa Nostra

Graham Bell practised as an architect before ‘crossing the fence’ to North of England Civic Trust, a leading UK NGO where he has been Director for 22 years. His expertise includes conservation and project management, training and education, and sustainable development of historic assets at risk – NECT has acquired, funded and developed a range of properties as demonstration projects. He is a principled practitioner, informing such projects through publications and as a research fellow for the UNESCO Chair Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in Hungary, but he also has taught in Slovakia and Serbia and every year addresses conferences around Europe. NECT hosted one of the most successful education and workplace traditional skills programmes in the UK covering building conservation and heritage engineering which received a Europa Nostra award. Graham is a long-established adviser to the National Trust on conservation and design intervention in historic places and supports the International National Trusts Organisation. He joined a British Council delegation to Moscow to coincide with the Queen’s State Visit and is a member of a range of professional organisations including ICOMOS Hungary, including being a founder member of Future for Religious Heritage. He was on the Board of a £200m urban regeneration programme that won international best practice awards including from Europa Nostra. In 2007 he set up the Hungarian Renaissance Foundation (MRA), working with the British Embassy to host a heritage summit chaired by Hungary’s Ambassador to the United Nations in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales.



Gaianè Casnati, CSDCA Cultural Heritage (Armenia/ Italy)
Gaianè Casnati is a conservator architect, Director of the Cultural Heritage department of the Centro Studi e Documentazione della Cultura Armena (CSDCA) and Research Fellow in Architectural conservation at Politecnico di Milano. Casnati is author of several preservation projects in Italy and abroad (i.e. the preservation of the Roman anphitheatre of Milan, the safeguard of the entrance tower of Shayzar castle in Syria, the structural repair of the katoghiké church of Marmashen in Armenia) and is editor/author of a number of publications on Armenian heritage conservation (several articles and 3 books). She has organised three exhibits on Armenian themes (that travelled in Armenia and in Europe) and has spoken at international congresses (in Italy, Armenia, France, Belgium, Austria, etc.). She has been working for CSDCA and Politecnico di Milano on projects in Armenia for organizations as UNESCO, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Europa Nostra and the World Bank. She has been project manager for the project Restoration Training in Armenia, awarded by Europa Nostra in 2015 in the category Education, Training and Awareness Raising.



Laurie Neale, Council Member of Europa Nostra (NL/ Canada)
A professional architect (McGill University), Laurie Neale wrote her Master’s thesis (Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College London) on the effects of our urban architecture and spaces on individual behaviour and social interaction through the theory and methods of Space Syntax. Living in Europe (The Hague, Brussels), she has worked for fifteen years on the safeguarding of cultural heritage at Europa Nostra: as manager of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards; as head of Communications; as head of the Heritage in Danger programme; and as member of its advisory Council since 2012. She has been an expert evaluator of cultural heritage projects and advisor for a number of European and International stakeholders (EEA+Norway Grants FMO, ASEF, Europeana …). She served on the Netherlands National Commission to UNESCO’s Thematic Group Post-Conflict Middle-East & North Africa, and is a member of ICOMOS Nederland.
Also living in Montreal Canada, Laurie is engaged with local and national heritage and sustainable city communities while pursuing a Fine Arts degree in sculpture at Concordia University. She works in multiple disciplines and materials (metal, wood, stone, fibres …) and focuses on conveying messages of social-spatial dialectics.



Paolo Vitti, Member of the Scientific Council of Europa Nostra (Italy)
Paolo Vitti is an architect and historian with over thirty years of experience in the areas of Ancient and Modern architecture and the restoration of cultural heritage sites. Vitti presently holds teaching appointments in both Italian and American universities. He has been a member of Europa Nostra’s Scientific Council since 2015 and a member of its Council since 2017. His work includes collaborations with national and international institutions, in the academic and professional field, as well as courses on conservation for architects and archaeologists of the Moroccan Ministry of Culture.
Vitti has authored many essays on restoration, museology, history of architecture and ancient construction, and specialises in the study of Mediterranean architecture, having made important achievements in the study of Ancient architecture. He has actively contributed to the activities of the Italian School of Archaeology in Athens since 2001.
His studies, reflected in more than 50 articles and a monograph, have greatly contributed to scholarship in the history of architecture. His research on Roman architecture in Greece and on the Mausoleum of Hadrian received the Grand Prix of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award in 2014 and the L’Erma di Bretschneider Archaeology Award. His design for the restoration of the Armenian Church and Monastery in Nicosia, Cyprus, received an EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award in 2015.



Helle-Silvia Solnask, Council Member of Europa Nostra (Estonia)
As graduate in English Philology from the University of Tartu (Estonia, 1984) Helle-Silvia Solnask started her career as an English language teacher at Tallinn Technical University. She then worked for several years at the British Council in Estonia, as officer of international relations at the Board of hte Estonian Border Guard, and in 1999 she joined the National Heritage Board as Head of International Relations. From 2004, Helle Solnask has worked at the non-profit, non-governmental organisation, the Estonian Heritage Society as Vice Chair.
Helle Solnask is Council Member of Europa Nostra and represents her organisation in the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe. From 2007 to 2015, she was national coordinator of the European Heritage Days in Estonia and is also the national coordinator for Estonia in the Council of Europe network HEREIN – a public database of the policies of European countries on architectural and archaeological heritage. Since 1999 Helle Solnask has also been the coordinator of the nation-wide Heritage Month in Estonia.
Helle Solnask has initiated and coordinated a number of joint cooperation projects at national and international level, for example, as project manager for the National Heritage Board for “AAC – archaeology, authority, Cooperation: cooperation to protect archaeological heritage” from 2012 to 2014; as project manager for “AGORA – Heritage Tourism for Increased Baltic Sea Identity” from 2009 to 2012 and; as
project manager for “Pathways to Cultural Landscapes”.



Mario Aymerich (Spain)
Director in Environment and Regional Development, Projects Directorate, European Investment Bank

Mario Aymerich carried out his graduate studies in Civil Engineering and completed his post-graduate/doctorate studies in Transport and Urban Planning at the Polytechnic Universities of Catalunya (UPC) and Madrid (UPM). During the 1980s, he worked as a civil servant at the Municipality of Barcelona. During 1990s, Aymerich worked as an Engineering Executive in a private multi-national company which had strong participation in the European Commission’s research projects and was Manager of the UK branch of the company. He has been a part-time professor at UPC and UPM (Transport Planning and Economics) and is the author of more than 50 articles, some 150 presentations and co-author of 6 technical books.
Since he joined the European Investment Bank in January 1999, he has always worked in multidisciplinary teams involved in the appraisal and monitoring of lending operations related to large-scale infrastructure projects, notably in the transport and urban/regional development sectors. Special attention was dedicated to PPP operations and Technical Risk Analysis. As Director of the Environment and Regional Development Department since 2011, he was presented with the opportunity to be involved with many interesting projects and technical advisory services in very diverse fields, with the common denominator of all these being their extraordinary potential in relation to environmental sustainability and resilience to climate change. In March 2015, he was appointed to the position of Managerial Advisor to the Director General of the Projects Directorate. Aside from regularly giving master classes at various educational institutions, since 2013 he has been collaborating with the EIB Institute in several fields, such as the supervision of several research activities funded by the Institute and participation in the 7 Most Endangered programme.

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