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The UNESCO Expert's Forum for the Hanseatic Town of Wismar

The Sachverständigenbeirat (Expert's Forum) is an independent panel of experts that advises the Hanseatic Town of Wismar regarding the development of its world heritage. Its aim is to maintain both the urban landscape and architectural culture of the town to the highest standards, as well as avoiding disadvantageous developments in town planning and architectural / historical monument preservation.

The Expert's Forum's Duties

The function of the Expert's Forum is to examine and evaluate urban planning and construction projects submitted to it with regard to their compatibility with the world heritage status. Furthermore, it is assigned with the task of identifying the possible conflicts of urban planning and construction projects with world heritage status criteria at an early stage and ensuring the compatibility of planned projects with said criteria within the boundaries of the world heritage site and its surrounding buffer zone. The Expert's Forum issues recommendations with regard to such projects and issues advice and criteria designed to maintain the quality of preservation of the world heritage site it is responsible for.

Thus, the Expert's Forum's advice is sought with regard to the following potentially problematic issues:

  • Town planning projects, statutes and surveys relating directly to the world heritage site Altstadt Wismar
  • The construction of new buildings within the boundaries of the world heritage site and its surrounding buffer zone
  • Modernisation and maintenance projects in the world heritage site that extend beyond its boundaries

Members of the Expert's Forum

The members of the Expert's Forum are competent authorities in the fields of town planning, architecture and historical monument preservation. One member each come from the Federal State Office for Culture and Monument Preservation and UNESCO / ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites).

Members of the forum are appointed by the mayor for a period of three years, which may be extended once by a further three.

The members are not allowed to have their home or workplace in Wismar or have any involvement in planning or building in the town for the duration of their membership of the forum, or in a period of two years prior to or following it.

The forum's secretariat is located in the mayor's office as part of the Department for Town Development and World Heritage.

In accordance with the aforementioned criteria, Mayor Thomas Beyer appointed the following  persons to the current UNESCO Expert's Forum:

  • Frau Prof. Dr. Sigrid Brandt, University of Bamberg, ICOMOS Monitoring Commissioner Wismar
  • Frau Dr. Juliane Kirschbaum, Bonn, former Chief Executive of the Deutschen Nationalkomitees für Denkmalschutz (National Committee for German Monument Protection)
  • Herr Prof. Volkwin Marg, Hamburg, Architects Gerkan, Marg and Partner
  • Herr Horst von Bassewitz, Architect Hamburg, Scientific Committee of the Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz (German Foundation for Monument Protection) Bonn
  • Herr Dr. Winands, Head of Conservation for the Federal State Office for Culture and Monument Preservation Mecklenburg-Pomerania


Session Minutes (only available in German)