Advisory Panel

An international advisory panel, comprising specialists in history, archaeology, architecture, conservation and finance, meet to discuss over the applications and shortlist the most endangered monuments and sites. The final list of 7 sites is selected by the Board of Europa Nostra.

Pedro Ponce de León
Advisory Panel

Born in Madrid in 1957, Pedro Ponce de León studied Architecture at the Politechnical University in Madrid, reaching the degree of Architect in 1979 and Doctorate (with Cum Laude honours). Between 1980 and 1982 he worked as architect of the Spanish Archeological Mission in Jordan. In 1984 he received a scholarship from a Private Foundation in order to study Architectural Restoration in the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) at the Spanish Academy in Rome. His study about its cloisters was published in 1986 in the journal of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

He founded “Pedro Ponce de León, Architects” in 1980, with a deep specialisation in cultural and architectural heritage activities, and large experience in the intervention on Heritage buildings and monuments, from the preliminary diagnose to the Executive Project design and also, the project management works, providing technical assistance as well as criteria, building procedures, planning and economic audit.

More than 40 design and executive projects developed in different countries (Spain, Cuba, Albania, Greece, Mali, Western Balkan countries, etc. See page Pedro Ponce de Leon has participated as an expert in some missions for the 7 Most Endangered programme of Europa Nostra, including Gjirokastra (Albania), Venice Lagoon (Italy), the Mafra National Palace, the Monastery and Church of Jesus in Sétubal (Portugal). He also has prepared feasibility reports for the Roman Amphitheatre in Dürres (Albania) and the Historic City of Kastoria (Greece). He is a consultant architect for the Division of Cultural and Natural Heritage (Council of Europe), consultant for different agencies: AECI (Spanish Agency for International Cooperation), CEB; Member of the Royal Academy of History and the Spanish-Belgium Academy. Member of ICOMOS (Spanish Council Committee), ICOM.

John Sell
Non Voting Chair
United Kingdom

Architect, Project Manager and Lecturer

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 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.
John Sell was Executive Vice-President of Europa Nostra between 2009 and 2018.

Rienko Wilton
Advisory Panel

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 Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards and was its representative at Local Award Ceremonies in the Netherlands. 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 nine years, Rienko Wilton has coordinated the organisation of excursions to industrial heritage sites in the cities that have hosted Europa Nostra’s Congresses, namely Istanbul, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Athens, Vienna, Oslo, Madrid, Turku and Paris.

Costa Carras
Corresponding Member

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.

Paolo Vitti
Advisory Panel

Board Member of Europa Nostra

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. 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.
Paolo Vitti has been a Board Member of Europa Nostra since 2018.

Laurie Neale
Advisory Panel
NL/ Canada

Council Member of Europa Nostra.

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.

Işik Aydemir
Advisory Panel

Former President of the Scientific Council of Europa Nostra

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 was an active member of the Scientific Council of Europa Nostra between 2000 and 2018, lending his professional expertise to a number of study reports, working groups and as a jury member.