Herb Stovel

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Herb Stovel

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  • Herbert Stovel

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Herb Stovel was born on Aug. 16, 1948 in Hawkesbury, Ontario. He obtained a Bachelor’s of Architecture at McGill University in 1972; an MSc in Environmental Conservation from the Heriot-Watt University/Edinburgh College of Art in 1978; and a Diploma in Scientific Principles of Conservation from the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Italy in 1982. He developed courses for Heritage Canada’s Main Street program during the 1980s, where he met his wife Meryl, also a conservation professional. The couple had two children.

Herb Stovel set up the first training program for the conservation of Canadian federal government buildings (1985-1988), and from 1990 to 1993 was a professor and director of the conservation program at the Faculté de l’aménagement at the Université de Montréal. He also managed his own private sector educational consulting firm, the Institute for Heritage Education (1988-1998). In the 1990s, Stovel was hired by Parks Canada to study the Rideau Canal Corridor's cultural landscape, which led to its receiving its UNESCO World Heritage designation in 2007. He also managed the 35 historic properties owned by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, and was Director of the ICCROM Heritage Settlements Unit from 1998 to 2004.

Stovel also carried out numerous international conservation missions and served many organizations, including serving as President of the Association for Preservation Technology (1989-1991), as Secretary-General of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) International (1990-1993), and as President of ICOMOS Canada (1993-1997). He was also a frequent consultant to ICOMOS and to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in work related to the World Heritage Convention.

In 2004, Herb Stovel was appointed Associate Professor and coordinator of the Heritage Conservation programme in the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University.

Throughout his career, he authored numerous articles, reports, books and other publications on various topics related to heritage and conservation, and is well-known for his role in the drafting of the Nara Document on Authenticity, in 1994, together with Raymond Lemaire. As part of ICCROM’s delegation as an Advisory Body to the World Heritage Committee (1998-2004), Stovel helped strengthen the Convention’s policies and practice, through the development of its Global Training Strategy, by authoring two well-known ICCROM publications on risk preparedness for world cultural heritage and conservation of living religious heritage, and by being actively involved in post-inscription training and management activities.

Finally, in addition to his many other honourary awards, memberships, and appointments, Professor Stovel was nominated by UNESCO, and received the ICCROM Award for Heritage Conservation (the most prestigious international award in that field), from the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in 2011.

Herb Stovel died on March 14, 2012 in Ottawa.


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