On 22 February 2024, Prof. Dr Bernd von Droste zu Hülshoff handed over his professional legacy to the Jiří Toman Center at the University for Continuing Education Krems as a permanent loan. This loan represents a further significant enrichment for the Center at the University for Continuing Education Krems alongside the library of Prof. DDr Jiří Toman (1938-2020).

Bernd von Droste zu Hülshoff (born 1938) held important positions at UNESCO in Paris for over a quarter of a century from 1974: As head of the UNESCO MAB Biosphere Programme, as forestry graduate he had already been developing sustainability strategies for global nature conservation since the mid-1970s. In 1992, he founded the World Heritage Center at UNESCO and headed this institution as Director until 2000, before taking on the role of UNESCO Assistant Director-General (ADG) for Cultural Affairs for several years. Under his leadership, World Heritage developed into UNESCO's globally recognised "flagship programme". By including "cultural landscapes" as a World Heritage category, he succeeded in overcoming the dichotomy between natural and cultural heritage. In addition, sustainability aspects were included in the built cultural heritage for the first time. After retiring from UNESCO, he worked as a professor at the universities of Cottbus and Frankfurt an der Oder in Germany. He also published numerous papers on forestry, ecosystems and World Heritage.

The extensive legacy not only provides an insight into the practise of international nature and cultural heritage protection, but also documents the spirit of optimism when UNESCO turned to new topics in the 1970s, which (such as sustainability and the restitution of cultural property) are now firmly established internationally. International cooperation was further strengthened after the fall of communism.

For the University for Continuing Education Krems, the permanent loan represents an extremely valuable resource for research. The approximately 25 document boxes containing life documents, letters, notebooks, diaries, travel reports and manuscripts as well as the subject-specific library not only provide an insight into von Droste's professional work during his time in Paris, but also make a significant contribution to the university's research focus in the field of cultural heritage. The indexing of the personal notes and the no less important so-called "grey literature" will make a significant contribution to research into the World Heritage idea and the history of sustainability.

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