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.

Charles Pictet
Advisory Panel

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.

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.

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.

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.