In memoriam: Luce Hinsch (1927-2021), former ICOMOS Vice President

Luce Hinsch 2020 i Øvre Løklia DesetAn exceptionally highly skilled colleague and close friend, Luce Hinsch, did peacefully pass away in Oslo at the age of 93, surrounded by her three daughters.

Luce Hinsch built up the cultural heritage archive of the Directorate of Cultural Heritage in Norway and was its manager for more than 40 years. It became the largest collection of drawings, photographs and documents on the topic of cultural heritage, covering the whole of Norway. The archive was also an important meeting place for professionals and a training and working place for students.

In 1981, she was asked by the Norwegian Museum of Architecture to join its board. In this position she focused on the collection of drawings and models by Norwegian architects in order to preserve these for future generations.

Born in France, raised in what were then its colonies, and then married to a Norwegian archeologist, Luce Hinsch had a good background for international work. When the Directorate of Cultural Heritage wanted to develop international relations, ICOMOS was the organization she contacted. She was one of the founders of ICOMOS Norway. She worked for several months in the ICOMOS Secretariat in Paris and wrote a booklet on the organization’s history. In 1990, at the General Assembly in Lausanne she was elected ICOMOS Vice President.

She was much involved in the first inscriptions of Norwegian sites on the World Heritage List, especially the mining town of Røros.

When the Fondation Hartung-Bergmann (the German-Norwegian artist couple) was established in Antibes, she became a board member and translated their Norwegian letters and diaries into French. For the 75th anniversary of the Directorate of Cultural Heritage, she edited the impressing book "Monuments & Sites", for which she also wrote the French text. Its introduction was written by Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.

When the Edvard Munch exhibition was launched in Paris at the Centre Pompidou in 2011, Luce translated the catalogue into French. This was the start of another challenge for her at the Munch Museum in Oslo. For several years she transcribed and translated Munch’s letters and diaries.

When she retired from the Directorate of Cultural Heritage in Oslo, Luce Hinsch continued with translations. Now she translated novels of famous Norwegian authors into French (Herbjørg Wassmoe and Amalie Skram). The last book she translated in 2017 was a comic book.

Luce Hinsch was a Honorary Member of ICOMOS Norway and in 2012 she was honoured with the Norwegian Royal Knight, Order of Merit, for her mediation of Norwegian Culture and Literature to France.


Jan Anderssen (Directorate of Cultural Heritage in Norway)
Axel Mykleby (ICOMOS Norway)


Photo credits: Luce Hinsch © Øvre Løklia Deset, 2020