held its 27th General Assembly from 14-16 November 2011 at the FAO headquarters in Rome. During the packed three-day schedule, delegates appointed Stefano De Caro of Italy as the new Director-General; approved the organizations programme and budget for cultural heritage training activities for the next two years; welcomed Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates to the list of Member States; and awarded the prestigious ICCROM Award to Herb Stovel for his outstanding contribution to the conservation profession.
From 14-16 November, delegates from 90 Member states convened to discuss the numerous activities that ICCROM has undertaken in the field of cultural heritage conservation. Despite financial difficulties owing to the global economic crisis, the organization has trained 516 mid-career professionals from 145 countries in the last two years through a number of specialist courses that have taken place all over the world. Current Director-General Mounir Bouchenaki stated that this General Assembly was a very exceptional moment in the life of ICCROM, underlining the universality and acceptance by all Member States of ICCROMs role and mission for training and capacity building for cultural heritage. The very important participation of 90 Member States is a signal that cultural heritage, including promotion of diversity and respect for diversity, is a response to the present, difficult economic situation of the world.
Delegates voted on the appointment of De Caro, former Director-General for Antiquities in the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, and recognized the achievements of Bouchenaki over his six-year term with a standing ovation.
This years ICCROM Award went to Herb Stovel, internationally renowned expert of cultural heritage conservation and spearhead of several standard-setting principles and texts that now guide professionals in the field. His wife Meryl accepted the award on his behalf, and the laudatio was read by Alain Godonou, Director of the Division of Cultural Objects and Intangible Heritage of UNESCO. The ICCROM Award is granted to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of the institution, and who have special merit in the field of conservation, protection and restoration of cultural heritage.