Jury & Selection Committee

We are grateful for the invaluable contribution of the Selection Committee, the Jury Members and the Assessors, who every year dedicate their precious time to the careful study of all submitted projects. The selection of each year’s winners is only possible thanks to their voluntary commitment and their outstanding expertise.

To find out more about each expert you can click on the names below to read their biographies. You can also use the filters to show them by category and by country.

Marianne Ytterdal
5) Heritage Champions
Member of the Selection Committee

Marianne R. Ytterdal, Assistant Professor at Aalesund University College in Norway, covering Mercantile, Maritime, and Technical English, Cultural Differences and Project Presentations, recently retired. She studied English and American Languages and Background, History of Art, Nordic languages and literature and Educational Science at the Universities of Bergen, Oslo and Trondheim. She has been active within Europa Nostra since 2000, in the years 2007 – 2009 in the new governance group. She is currently President of the Board of the Kjell Holm Foundation in Norway, which she joined in 2003. For 25 years, the last five as President, she was a board member of Fortidsminneforeningen: The Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments, an NGO that owns and maintains 41 properties of cultural significance. Other cultural heritage boards of interest are: the European Network of National Heritage Organisations, Jugendstilsenteret (The Norwegian Art Nouveau Centre), and Den norske Kulturminnedagen (European Heritage Days). Ytterdal has also published a number of textbooks for the teaching of Technical and Practical English, the most recent having been released in 2015.

Davida de Hond
4) Citizens Engagement & Awareness-raising
Member of the Selection Committee
The Netherlands

Davida de Hond is a member of the management team of Museum Arnhem, a museum located in the eastern part of the Netherlands. As head of public and program, de Hond is responsible for education, marketing, communication, programming and exhibitions. Previously she worked as an entrepreneur in the cultural field, focusing on heritage and community building. She has a focus on participation and education through heritage and art. She has also worked for Erfgoed Nederland, the national heritage agency, with a role in the team that focused on heritage from an international perspective. For the Reinwardt Academy she has worked on international cooperation projects that focused on new museology, eco museology, community building and innovation in heritage education.

Besides her different employments, she is also active as an advisor on committees regarding culture and heritage subsidies. Currently for the Mondriaan Fund, and in the recent past for the municipality of Rotterdam through the RRKC, Provincial committee on culture and heritage in Gelderland and the fund for Cultural Participation.

Charles Personnaz
Heritage Awards Jury
Jury Member

Charles Personnaz is a historian and civil servant, having spent most of his career in the field of cultural heritage both at the French Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Culture. He has been Director of the National Heritage Institute (INP – Institut national du patrimoine) since 2019.
Charles Personnaz has a special interest and commitment to the preservation of Christian heritage in the Middle East. He has authored several books published in France about Byzantine and Greek history and cultural policy.

Árpád Bőczén
4) Citizens Engagement & Awareness-raising
Member of the Selection Committee

Árpád Bőczén is the founding president of the Association of Cultural Heritage Managers (KÖME), since 2012. He graduated as an architect at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and as a cultural heritage expert at the Corvinus University of Budapest. His main interest is the human and especially the socio-cultural aspects of our tangible environment. Encouraging people and communities to take an active part in shaping their environment and living spaces whilst developing existing heritage based on value has played a significant role in his practice. Building spaces and structures is equally as important to him as building communities.

He is the country coordinator of Interpret Europe, the international professional network of heritage interpreters. He is a certified interpretive writer and a certified interpretive guide and trainer. He has been the initiator, manager and evaluator of many international projects dealing with the wide range of cultural and natural heritage including built assets, archaeological values, landscapes, memories, objects, digital works, music and many more. He always attaches high importance to the establishment and follow up of good cooperation among different disciplines and cultures. He was the manager of Interpret Europe’s 2018 conference “Heritage and Identity”. This event was part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage program.

Alex Torpiano
2) Research
Member of the Selection Committee

Professor Alex Torpiano is currently Dean of the Faculty for the Built Environment of the University of Malta, a position he has held for the last 16 years; he has served as Head of the Department of Building and Civil Engineering, 1988-1999, 2007-2011, as Head of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, 2011-2016, as Head of the Department of Architecture and Urban Design, 2016-2020, and Acting Head of the Department of Visual Arts, 2021-2022. Het set up and served as Director of the Institute for Masonry and Construction Research between 1994 – 2009. He is currently member of the University Senate, (since 2008), and has served as a member of the Council of University between 2009-2021. He is a member of the Board of the Institute of Sustainable Energy, and of the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development. He has served as Chairperson of San Anton

School, between 2000 and 2009; as President of the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers, 1994-1996, 2017-2019, as Chairman of the Valletta Rehabilitation Committee 1995-1996, 2000-2001, as member of the Periti Warranting Board between 1999-2001 and since 2009. He has also served on the Eurocodes National Implementation Committee since 2002. He is currently Executive President of the National Trust of Malta, Din l-Art Helwa.

Nicki Matthews
2) Research
Member of the Selection Committee

Nicki Matthews MRIAI joined the Built Heritage Policy Team of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, as a Senior Architect in 2018. Her role includes the delivery of a range of progressive policies for cultural heritage including the contribution on cultural heritage objectives to the Regional Assemblies, the National Heritage Plan 2030 renewal, the National Policy on Architecture, as well as devising strategies for delivering heritage-led urban regeneration and climate change mitigation. As a member of the SEA Forum, Nicola contributes to the Environmental Protection Agency in respect of environmental impact of strategic, national infrastructural projects such as flood relief CFRAM programme, Irish Water, Energy, Transportation and Port Infrastructure etc. where proposals impact on cultural heritage. With regard to the delivery of the Department of Culture,

Heritage and the Gaeltacht policies through funding programmes, Nicola provides the technical support to the various funding programmes currently operated including the Built Heritage Invest Scheme, The Historic Buildings Fund, the Historic Towns Initiative and the Heritage Council-run Irish Walled Town Network (IWTN).

Prior to this, Nicola was the Architectural Conservation Officer (ACO) for Dublin City Council, with the remit to communicate the built heritage significance of the historic city and its regeneration through the reuse and repair of historic vacant buildings for residential use to meet the housing crisis – in particular the roll out of the ‘Living City Initiative’, to address the vacant upper floors of the historic centre of Dublin.

Georgios Toubekis
2) Research
Member of the Selection Committee

Georgios Toubekis is a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT (Germany). He studied architecture at RWTH Aachen University, where he taught documentation techniques at the Faculty of Architecture. For the Aachen Centre for Documentation and Conservation, he has been the coordinator of heritage preservation campaigns within the UNESCO long-term conservation programme for the cultural landscape of the Bamiyan Valley World Heritage Site (Afghanistan). He is an expert member of CIPA Heritage Documentation and is interested in the use of advanced recording and documentation techniques to improve heritage management processes, particularly the use of remote sensing, laser scanning and geospatial database systems for heritage-related applications. For ICOMOS International, he is an expert on field missions in the framework of the Reactive

 Monitoring of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. He contributes to the the research category of the European Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, the European Commission’s official prize for cultural heritage projects. His current research focuses on the use of heritage-led innovation and the impact of digital technologies to make the significance of cultural heritage tangible and to contribute to the valorisation of cultural properties and their long-term conservation.

Ola Fjeldheim
3) Education, Training & skills
Member of the Selection Committee

Ola Fjeldheim has been working as Secretary General for Fortidsminneforeningen, The National Trust of Norway for the last nine years. Fjeldheim lives on an old farm outside of Oslo, and has been restoring it for the past twenty years. Fjeldheim has a university degree in environmental studies, and worked for nine years as a teacher. During those years he also earned a degree in cultural studies (ethnology. history
and art history). In 2005 his career took a new direction, working for two years on a Norwegian-Swedish Interreg project on crafts and heritage in the border regions between the two countries. Fjeldheim then started as a cultural heritage advisor in the local community of Ullensaker. In 2012, he completed a master’s degree in architectural conservation at the Oslo School of Architecture. Due to his interest in traditional carpentry, he has acquired some skill in practical work on old wooden buildings. During these years he has written a number of peer-reviewed articles on heritage subjects, and held a large number of lectures and practical courses.

Elena Dimitrova
2) Research
Jury Member & Chair of the Selection Committee

Elena Dimitrova is Associate Professor at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia with over thirty years of teaching and research in spatial policy and planning. She has a Master’s in Architecture, awarded in 1976 and defended her PhD in 1990. Dimitrova’s professional expertise and research interests are in the spatial and sociocultural aspects of sustainable development, participatory planning approaches, interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue on heritage as a factor for urban sustainability. She is a team leader in several international research projects; the author of numerous publications in the fields of urban development and planning, higher education and research, and cultural heritage preservation for sustainable development. Dimitorva is and has been a participant in numerous European academic networks and international conferences.

Elena Dimitrova has been a member of ICOMOS-Bulgaria since 2005 and Vice-President since 2011; a member of CIVVIH (International Scientific Committee on historic cities, towns and villages) since 2010, CIVVIH Advisory Committee member (2018-2021) and Board member (since 2021); representative of ICOMOS-Bulgaria in ICOMOS SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Working Group since 2019. She is a member of the Expert group on European Quality Principles for EU-Funded Interventions with Potential Impact on Cultural Heritage, jointly developed by ICOMOS Europe and the European Commission (DC Culture and Education), which was adopted by ICOMOS General Assembly in 2021. She was Invited to be a panellist (Theme II: ‘Community engagement through culture for sustainable local development’) at the UNESCO Conference on ‘Culture 2030 | Rural-Urban Development: The Future of Historic Villages and Towns’, organised in Meishan, China, in 2019.

Elena Dimitorva has extensive experience in scientific article reviews, ICOMOS missions and desk reviews and the evaluation of educational and research projects in European and national academic and research programmes. She has also been a local assessor for the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards since 2018.

Johanna Leissner
Heritage Awards Jury
Jury Member

Trained as a chemist in Germany and the USA, Johanna Leissner has been working in cultural heritage research in various EU and national projects for over 20 years with a focus on climate change, environmental pollution, environmental sensor development and sustainability issues like Green Museums.

She is chair of the EU OMC group “Strengthening cultural heritage resilience for climate change”, established in January 2021, and member of the EU expert group “Cultural Heritage Forum”, established in 2019. Currently coordinator of German research project KERES “Protecting cultural heritage from extreme climate events and increasing resilience”.

German delegate for the Council of Europe Strategy “European Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century” and of the UNESCO World Heritage Expert Group for climate change impacts on cultural heritage. Since 2005 scientific representative for Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft at the European Union in Brussels. Co-founder of the German Research Alliance for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in 2008 and of the Fraunhofer Sustainability Network. From 2001 to 2005, National Expert of the Federal Republic of Germany responsible for “Technologies for the Protection of the European Cultural Heritage” at the European Commission in Brussels.

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