EUROPEAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE PRIZE 2000
The EAA Committe for the European Heritage Prize, consisting of David Breeze, Scotland, Jürgen Kunow, Germany, Teresa Marques, Portugal, Katalin Wollak, Hungary and Kristian Kristiansen, Sweden (chairperson), has decided to award the second Heritage Prize of the European Association of Archaeologists to the former State Antiquarian of Sweden, Margareta Biörnstad for the central role she has played in the modernization of archaeological heritage management in Sweden and Europé during the last 25 years.
As Deputay Director (since 1975) and finally Director General (State Antiquarian) of the Swedish National Board of Antiquities, as well as leading member of several govermental commissions, Margareta Biörstad led the modernization of the heritage administration in Sweden, which came to serve as a model for her later international work in ICOMOS. As president of the Swedish ICOMOS committee and member of the ICOMOS executive board, she played a important role in giving archaeology a more central role within this
international organization. She was, together with Henry Cleere, from England, a co-founder of ICAHM (International Committee of Heritage Mangement) within ICOMOS in 1984 and its first chairperson, from which position she led the work that succesfully resulted in the ICOMOS charter on archaeology in 1990 (Charter for the Protection and Management of the Archaeological Heritage). This was a significant achievement, which for the first time defined the aims and the role of archaeological heritage management internationally. It stressed the integration of archaeological programmes and planning, the creation of inventories, the importance of ín situ´preservation, and when this is not possible, the responsibility of the developer to ensure proper archaeological investigations. This principle of the ”destroyer” should pay, since long applied in Sweden, was here instituted internationally. The influence of the ICAHM charter is reflected both in the EAA Code of Practice from 1997, and in the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (the Malta Convention) from 1992, which since then has helped to modernize conservation archaeology in Europe. After her retirement Margareta Biörnstad took a new international initiative as co-founder of the Swedish Foundation: Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB), where she became the first president. CHwB´s goal is to offer international assistance to cultural heritage endagered by war or other catastrophes, and it includes both archaeological and historical heritage. The organisation has played an important role in Bosnia and Herzegovina as –
according to Unesco – the only Non Govermental Organisation working together with Bosnian partners. The activities, which amount to ca. 4 million SEK/year, includes training programmes, restoration of museums, and other historical and archaeological monuments. Finally Margareta Biörnstad has created a Fund which gives scholarships to heritage managers, enabling them to undertake study trips abroad. In recognition of Margareta Biörnstad´s contributions to national and international heritage management during 25 years, reflected both in her participation in starting new international organisations (ICAHM and CHwB) and in her influence on the goals and aims of modern heritage management, the EAA awards her the second European Heritage prize.