CULTURAL HERITAGE AGENCY
EHHF 2017 OUR COMMON HERITAGE – SHARING THE RESPONSIBILITY
Rúnar Leifsson (born 1978) is interim Director General of the Cultural Heritage Agency of Iceland (Minjastofnun Íslands). The Agency is a government entity that operates under the authority of the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate and is responsible for administrating the protection of Iceland’s cultural heritage, both archaeological and architectural. Rúnar Leifsson holds a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Iceland and a MSc from the University of York in England. He
has worked with cultural heritage for over two decades, both domestically and internationally, doing research, in heritage management, lecturing and later in public administration and policy making.
Prior to accepting the office of Director General of the Cultural Heritage Agency, Rúnar Leifsson was Senior Adviser at the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and later at the Ministry of Culture and Business Affairs. He was also Iceland’s focal point for UNESCO’s Cultural Conventions from 1954, 1970, 1972 and 2003 and served on several boards and committees on behalf of the Government.
A little bit of history
A European Heritage Summit was first organized in London on 26–28 April 2006 by Dr. Simon Thurley, former Chief Executive Officer of English Heritage. The mission of the Summit was to gather for the first time the European cultural heritage leaders who had the opportunity to exchange their experience and initiate common actions. It was attended by 23 European states which agreed in the Final Statement to continue to meet annually as a forum of European heritage heads, known as the “European Heritage Heads Forum”. Future hosting countries are chosen by general agreement at the annual meeting.