Professor Jacek Purchla has been elected the President of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
Poland has been tasked with the organisation of the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee, one of the UNESCO’s most spectacular annual events. The decision has been taken in Istanbul during the 40th UNESCO session and applauded by close to a thousand delegates from 190 states. In 2017, the session will be held in Kraków – the city which was inscribed on the World Heritage List as early as 1978. A decision to organise the UNESCO session in a place which was among the first twelve sites on the List was taken on the last day of the Istanbul session which ended abruptly due to the military coup attempt in Turkey.
Consequently, in October the session will be re-opened in Paris, the city which hosts the UNESCO seat, and will be chaired by Professor Jacek Purchla, a Polish representative, who has been unanimously elected for the post by the delegates that gathered in Istanbul. Professor Purchla is the President of the Polish National Commission for UNESCO and a world-renowned authority on protection and preservation of cultural heritage, a creator and director of the International Cultural Centre in Kraków.
To trust Poland with the organisation and presidency of the session – which, one should note, takes crucial decisions on protection and preservation of the world’s most valuable cultural and natural resources – is tantamount to an international recognition of Poland’s contribution to the preservation and conservation of heritage, in line with the criteria stipulated by the 1972 UNESCO Convention on the protection, at national level, of the cultural and natural heritage.