Professor Zhang Jie elected as China’s first honorary member of ICOMOS

Professor Zhang Jie from Tsinghua University was recently awarded the Honorary Membership of ICOMOS for "making remarkable contributions to heritage conservation in Asia, particularly responding to rapid urbanization" at the ICOMOS 21st General Assembly and Scientific Symposium held in Sydney, Australia. He thus became the first ICOMOS honorary member in China.

Founded in Warsaw, Poland in 1965, ICOMOS serves as an advisory body of the World Heritage Committee for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO. It is the only global non-government organization working for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places, dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage. As of the end of 2022, ICOMOS has 113 National Committees and 30 International Scientific Committees. The title of Honorary Membership was established in 1975 as the highest honor and is awarded every three years to individuals who have given distinguished services at the international level to the conservation of cultural heritage. Honorary membership has been conferred so far on 115 ICOMOS members.

The jury for this year's ICOMOS Honorary Membership includes members from Japan, Norway, Mali, Argentina, and the United States. This year's conference was merged with the previous one, held after a six-year gap, with a total of 11 distinguished experts from around the world receiving membership.

Professor Zhang Jie is the founder and the current president of the ICOMOS International Committee on Historic Cities, Towns and Villages (CIVVIH) Asia-Pacific sub-committee. He also serves as the Vice President of ICOMOS China. Zhang has been dedicated to heritage research and practice for over thirty years,

With over 30 years of dedication to research, practice, and teaching in the field of heritage conservation and regeneration in China, he has played a vital role in exploring a protection system tailored to the Chinese context and advancing sustainable approaches from multiple scales, including cities, communities, and buildings. His conservation projects such as the Sanfang Qixiang in Fuzhou and the Taoxichuan in Jingdezhen provide practical models for heritage conservation and sustainable development in Asia in the context of rapid urbanization.

As a member of ICOMOS China, Professor Zhang’s award in this year’s ICOMOS General Assembly reflects the elevation of the international influence of China’s academic force of cultural heritage conservation. It also demonstrates enhanced international recognition of China's cultural heritage conservation achievements in recent years.

Editor: Li Han

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