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.

Prof. Dr. Jacek Purchla
Heritage Awards Jury
Jury Member & Chair of the Heritage Awards Jury

Vice-President of Europa Nostra since 2018. Polish Art Historian and Economist, Professor of Humanities, a member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the founder of the International Cultural Centre in Kraków, and was its director since its inception in 1991 until 2018. He is the head of the Department of Economic and Social History and the UNESCO Chair for Heritage and Urban Studies at the Kraków University of Economics.

He specialises in urban studies, social and art history, as well as the theory and protection of cultural heritage. Between 2016 and 2017 he was the President of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

He is a member of many organisations and associations including The Society of Friends of Kraków History and Heritage (operator of the Europa Nostra Heritage Hub in Kraków), of which he is the current president. He is the author of over 500 academic works, including a number of books published in many languages.

Pedro Ponce de Leon
Heritage Awards Jury
Jury Member

Pedro Ponce de Leon is owner and founder of the “Pedro Ponce de León, Architects”, independent office since 1980, with a deep specialisation in cultural and architectural heritage activities; large experience in the intervention on heritage buildings and monuments, from the feasibility study or preliminary analysis to the study of causes of decay, structure design, construction and restoration techniques and materials. Executive Project Design and also, in close collaboration with multidisciplinary teams, in management works.

Providing technical assistance as well as control and monitoring of criteria, building procedures, planning and economic audit. With more than 50 design and executive projects developed in different countries (Spain, Cuba, Albania, Greece, Mali, Western Balkan countries, etc.

Sadi Petrela
5) Heritage Champions
Member of the Selection Committee

Sadi Petrela has been Executive Director of the Gjirokastra Foundation for the past 15 years, an organisation which has undertaken over 20 years of uninterrupted activity in culture conservation and development in the UNESCO site Gjirokastra in Albania. Previous to this role, Sadi Petrela has gained extensive experience in journalism, media ethics and history teaching.
Year on year, the Gjirokastra Foundation developed an intense and multifaceted activity in the conservation and development of the vast heritage in Gjirokastra (both town and surrounding area) and, in some cases, elsewhere in both Albania and neighbouring countries.
They have developed more than 50 projects, both large and small, covering almost all different areas of cultural heritage in Albania. Their fundraising and various projects with new innovative approaches have earned the Foundation a strong reputation at both national and regional levels.
The Foundation’s projects include, among others: the restoration and revitalization of traditional buildings; the preservation and development of traditional arts and crafts; creating a new historic museum of Gjirokastra and opening up a tunnel from Communist times as a tourist attraction; the development of traditional cuisine. The Gjirokastra Foundation uses a participatory approach and community involvement in culture heritage management, connecting the city with similar historic centres. Their activities are considered groundbreaking and example creating for Albania and the wider area, especially considering the difficult political, economic and social environment in which they are undertaken. Gjirokastra Foundation is a winner of European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Award in the category of Dedicated Service to Heritage for the year 2021.

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