Edinburgh World Heritage Site, EWH News, Director, Adam Wilkinson, Buildings

UNESCO World Heritage Site Edinburgh

Edinburgh World Heritage – EWH: Architecture Conservation in Lothian, South East Scotland

29 Aug 2016

Edinburgh World Heritage News

Edinburgh World Heritage Support For Syrian Architecture Restoration

Edinburgh World Heritage offers support for the restoration of Syria’s urban heritage

Edinburgh, 26th August 2016 – Responding to a call from Prof Maamoun Adbulkarim, Director-General of Antiquities and Museums, Arab Republic of Syria, Edinburgh World Heritage has offered to provide support towards the restoration of several of Syria’s World Heritage sites, including the ancient cities of Aleppo, Damascus, and Bosra. Support will be provided in the form of on-the-ground expertise and knowledge exchange in urban heritage conservation and restoration as soon as hostilities have ceased.

Damascus architecture, Syria:
Syrian architecture
photograph © architect Gordon Murray

Syrian Architecture

In addition to the well-publicised damage to the ancient site of Palmyra, many of Syria’s urban World Heritage sites have also been damaged through shelling, looting and military occupation. Syria is home to several of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities which form a unique record of the development of human civilisation. In many cases, these World Heritage sites formed the backdrop to the daily lives of the Syrian people before the havoc caused by the conflict.

Edinburgh World Heritage, through its international programme, has provided support and consultancy to over 20 cities around the world over the past 10 years including Warsaw and the Latin American Cities Network, while also bringing its learning from these places back to Edinburgh.
The announcement was made at an Edinburgh World Heritage lecture on Thursday night in which Professor Abdulkarim talked about the appalling destruction of priceless monuments in many parts of the country as well as the efforts led by his team to conceal important museum collections across Syria from harm. He called upon the international community to redouble its efforts to help Syria protect, and in places rebuild, its heritage for the benefit of all humanity.

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage commented: ‘Syria is home to some of the world’s most important archaeology, monuments and ancient cities which bear rich testimony to the development of human civilisation. Edinburgh leads the world in community-based heritage conservation within dynamic urban environments, and stands ready to help the communities of Syria conserve and restore its urban heritage’.
Brian Lang, Chairman of Edinburgh World Heritage added: ‘the restoration of the archaeological and cultural treasures of Syria must become a key priority for the international heritage community over the coming years. It is entirely appropriate that Edinburgh World Heritage stands ready to assist in this crucial work’.

Damascus architecture, Syria:
Damascus architecture
photo © architect Gordon Murray

Professor Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director-General of Antiquities and Museums, Arab Republic of Syria commented: ‘We welcome Edinburgh World Heritage’s offer of help. Syria’s heritage belongs to its people, and to the people of the world. I look forward to building closer ties with the people of Edinburgh in the future’.

Edinburgh World Heritage charity

Edinburgh World Heritage is an independent charity with the aim of ensuring the city’s World Heritage status is a positive force for good that benefits everyone. Our mission is to connect people to their heritage in everything we do – whether through the conservation of historic buildings, delivering improvements to the public realm, or engaging people directly with the rich heritage of their city.

World Heritage Site Edinburgh

Vienna Memorandum on World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture – Managing the Historic Urban Landscape

25 Jan 2008

New Edinburgh World Heritage Director

Adam Wilkinson

Edinburgh World Heritage has announced today the appointment of a new director, Adam Wilkinson. Adam will join EWH in April from the campaigning organisation SAVE Britain’s Heritage, where he has been Secretary for the past seven years.

Adam said: “I have always been enchanted by both the immense beauty and story behind Edinburgh’s unique architectural heritage, and so I am delighted to play a part in preserving it for future generations.”

The World Heritage site is both architecturally and historically of the highest order of importance, but it is also a living city with a strong identity. It must be seen as a spur to creative and respectful answers to further development, not a barrier to change.

Edinburgh World Heritage has a strong proactive role to play in enabling projects, while also protecting and promoting the enduring values of the World Heritage Site. I greatly look forward to helping shape that role in the future.

Adam’s background in conservation and preservation brings a wealth of experience to EWH. With SAVE he has led campaigns to save a variety of threatened historic buildings, from aircraft test structures at RAE Farnborough to terraced housing targeted under the government’s Pathfinder scheme. He played a key part in the recent initiative to rescue Dumfries House, which saw the John and Robert Adam designed building and its unique collections saved for the nation.

Professor Charles McKean, chairman of Edinburgh World Heritage said: “I am really pleased that Adam is to direct Edinburgh World Heritage. His experience, energy and drive have been demonstrated at SAVE – not least through his involvement with the saving of Dumfries House. He will greatly add to and complement the existing skills of the EWH team. It will be an enormous boost to the organisation and to Edinburgh as a whole, and I greatly look forward to working with him.”

John Graham, Chief Executive of Historic Scotland, said: “Adam Wilkinson has a strong background in heritage and I look forward to working with him to protect and promote the World Heritage Site.”

Cllr Jenny Dawe, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I look forward to working with Adam in achieving our common goal of maintaining Edinburgh’s World Heritage status whilst promoting sustainable development to ensure the city’s continued prosperity.”

Edinburgh World Heritage Status : current news & views

Adam Wilkinson has been Secretary of SAVE Britain’s Heritage since March 2001. During that time he has played a crucial role in RAE Farnborough, Span 4 at Paddington Station, reducing the demolition targets under the government’s Pathfinder scheme from 400,000 to 50,000, and the campaigns to save Tyntesfield and Dumfries House. His work has included campaigns in Italy and Moscow with Save Europe’s Heritage, and previously assisting with heritage projects in the Kathmandu Valley and Bangladesh for the UNESCO Division of Cultural Heritage.

Adam is a council member of Europa Nostra, a trustee of the Monuments and Mausolea Trust, a committee member of the Churches Conservation Trust, and sits on the board of directors for Maintain our Heritage.

Edinburgh World Heritage is the official champion of the city’s World Heritage Site, and acts to protect, enhance and promote its key historic values. EWH was formed in 1999, and is jointly funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and Historic Scotland.


The work of EWH is focused on three core areas:
Influence & Monitor
EWH influences policy, planning and development, promotes good new design and monitors change within the World Heritage Site.
Conserve & Enhance
EWH administers a Conservation Funding Programme to conserve the World Heritage Site.
Promote & Educate
EWH promotes awareness and understanding of the World Heritage Site.
For more details visit www.ewht.org.uk

The centre of Edinburgh was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995.

UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Edinburgh World Heritage Trust (EWHT) was created by the amalgamation of the Old Town Renewal Trust and the New Town Conservation Committee in 1999. The Trust is funded by Historic Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.
The aim of The Edinburgh World Heritage Trust is to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Edinburgh UNESCO Site’s special architectural or historic interest. EWHT seeks to co-ordinate activities necessary for the protection of the heritage value of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site through controlled development.

Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, 5 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh

Contact the EWH : 0131 220 7720

Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH) is the official champion of the city’s World Heritage Site. EWH’s role is to monitor, enhance and promote Edinburgh’s unique historic values. www.ewht.org.uk

Other UNESCO World Heritage Sites include the Taj Mahal, Florence and Prague.

Contact the EWHT: [email protected]

Edinburgh Skyline Study hosted at EWHT in 2007

Scottish Capital Building Designs

Contemporary Scottish Capital Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

Scottish Parliament

Edinburgh World Heritage Trust chairman : Charles McKean

Edinburgh Walking Tours

Buildings / photos for the Edinburgh World Heritage Architecture page welcome

Edinburgh World Heritage Trust : page