‘The Dutch Hospital Colombo – BIOGRAPHY OF A HERITAGE BUILDING’
IAHS is pleased to present the latest publication by Dr. Gamini Wijesuriya, ‘The Dutch Hospital Colombo – BIOGRAPHY OF A HERITAGE BUILDING,’ for pre-order.
The Dutch hospital is a distinct historic landmark in Colombo. In the form of a BIOGRAPHY, Dr. Wijesuriya traces its three-decades-long journey to becoming a heritage building which started in 1978 but dragged till 2012- the year when it was converted into a high-end shopping center and a restaurant complex, finally being opened to the public. The complicated heritage journey according to Dr. Wijesuriya, is full of twists and turns and has many lessons for the sector. In addition, the book contains over 50 colourful illustrations of its rescue efforts over the three decades.
Dr. Wijesuriya was the former Director of Conservation of the Department of Archaeology and the first Asian staff member at the International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), Rome, Italy, created by UNESCO.
The book also contains the life story since its birth as a hospital started nearly 300 years ago, comprehensively researched by the late Dr. G. C. Uragoda, a renowned physician, & Prof. K.D. Paranavitana is a well-known specialist in the Dutch period archival records. This research was first published in the UK journal of Medical History (1985).
Dr. Gamini WijesuriyaAuthor
Dr. Gamini Wijesuriya started his career as and architect of the Urban Development Authority. He was a project manager of the Central Cultural Fund, after which he became the successor to Dr. Roland Silva as the head of the Conservation of the Department of Archaeology, a position held for 18 years (1982-2000). Later, he became the first Asian professional to employ as a staff member of International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) based in Rome, Italy where he worked from 2004-2017.
He is a fellow of the Sri Lanka Institute of architects and a Fellow of the Sri Lanka Council of archaeologists and a world-renowned heritage management professional who has gained a reputation as a lead international specialist on World Heritage. He has also gained international acclaim due to his innovative programmes on living heritage/ people-centred approaches to conservation of nature and culture that secure benefits for the society and heritage which is now gaining a standing worldwide.
His involvement on World Heritage which spread over 40 years reached its peak when he joined ICCROM from where he was key team member which provided direct advice to UNESCO over 15 years. Among his major contributions were the resource Manual on Managing Cultural World Heritage, over 150 missions covering nearly 50 countries and training over 1000 professional worldwide.
He was the Vice President of the World Archaeological Congress and the Vice President of the Scientific International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management and has served in all major heritage related national and international organisations in diverse capacities and has many publications to his credit.
Currently he is a Special Advisor to the Director General of ICCROM, Rome, Italy, Special Advisor, to the Director, World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (WHITRAP), Shanghai, China, Facilitator, Capacity Building Programme of the Intangible Heritage Convention, UNESCO and a Honorary Senior Lecturer, Institute of Archaeology, University College, London.
He holds BSc and MSc in architecture from University of Moratuwa, MA from York University UK, MA from Carnegie -Mellon University, USA and PhD from Leiden University, Netherlands.