The Advocate Award

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Across the world there are those who are deeply committed to the preservation of heritage but are not necessarily heritage professionals. These world visionaries may work in museums, government posts, or within the private sector. They may be artists, pioneers in the communications industry, scientists, architects, authors, educators, or entrepreneurs. They may be involved in the arts, the sciences, commerce or politics and policy. What they share is the understanding of the value of heritage to the future and the need to care for that heritage in a sustainable way. IIC acknowledges this support with the Advocate Award, given in recognition of those who use their influence, resources and talents to support the efforts of heritage preservation.


The 2012 IIC Advocate Award has been presented to Patrick Boylan, Dinu Bumbaru, George Mackenzie and Marie-Therese Varlamoff at the IIC 2012 Vienna Congress. The presentation of the Award recognised their work in creating and sustaining the Blue Shield initiative. IIC’s Advocate Award, given in recognition of those who use their influence, resources and talents to support the efforts of heritage preservation: see

The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) works for the protection of world cultural heritage by co-ordinating preparations to meet and respond to emergency situations as well as post-crisis support. It promotes good standards through risk management training and awareness-raising campaigns for professionals and the general public. Its unrivalled body of expertise allows the organisation to collect and share information on threats to cultural heritage worldwide, thus helping international players to take the appropriate measures in case of armed conflict or disaster.

ICBS intervenes as an advisor and co-operates with other bodies including UNESCO, ICCROM and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In emergency situations, ICBS encourages the safeguarding and the restoration of cultural property, the protection of threatened goods, and helps the professionals from the affected countries to recover from disasters.

An interview with the four recipients can be found in the Dialogues for the New Century series on the IIC web-site.


The first recipient of the IIC Advocate Award was Anna Somers Cocks, founder and editor of The Art Newspaper and Chairperson of the Venice in Peril Foundation. The award recognised her work to promote conservation through the growing presence of conservation news and reporting in the Art Newspaper; her tireless efforts as Chairperson of the Venice in Peril Foundation; and her ongoing scholarship and public support of heritage conservation world wide.
To mark this award Jerry Podany, President of IIC, spoke with her on February 25th 2011 and asked her about the Art Newspaper, changes in the world of heritage conservation and her dedication to the city of Venice. A transcript of this interview is available here.