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.