Sir Bernard M. Feilden 1919 - 2008
18 November. Sad news struck ICCROM on Friday with the loss of Sir Bernard M. Feilden, renowned international expert the field of heritage conservation and restoration.
Born in September 1919, Sir Bernard M. Feilden, started his career as architect to Norwich Cathedral, and pursued his work on historical buildings in the United Kingdom. He was nominated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as the representative on the Ancient Monuments Board in 1965. He also was elected in 1973 as Chairman of RIBA/COTAC (Conference on Training in Architectural Conservation) group, reporting on training architects in conservation.
He became President of the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association in 1975 and, one year later, President of the Surveyors Guild.
He served as Director General of ICCROM from1977 to 1981. He brought to the latter role his 40 years’ experience in architectural conservation. From 1973 to 1994, he lectured at the Architectural Conservation Course (ARC) and also in many countries in the world, from the United Kingdom to China, giving advice to architects and restorers in India, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. He lectured extensively in the United States at various universities such as University of California Berkeley; University of Columbia; Columbus State University; Cornell University; University of Pennsylvania; and University of Virginia.
Sir Bernard M. Feilden received several awards and honorary recognitions for his publications and for his works.
In 1986 he was awarded the Aga Khan Prize for his contribution to the conservation of the Dome of Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
I had the honour to participate, as UNESCO Director of Cultural Heritage Division, with Sir Bernard in two missions to Bahrein for the restoration projects of Arad Fort and Qala’at Al Bahrein.
Everywhere his scientific contribution was enormous.
In the name of all my colleagues at ICCROM I would like to present my sincere condolences to his family and in particular to his wife who sent a message saying ‘he died peacefully at home on Friday 14 November aged 89… he achieved all he wanted to do, and probably more, as you know better than I do.’
15 December, 2008