BV Papa Rao

Mr BV Papa Rao was a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and served in many capacities in the Government of Assam and India. He was also the Policy Advisor to the Government of Telangana from 2014–2018.

Mr Rao had a unique opportunity in dealing with cultural heritage, in the war-torn country of Kosovo. He played a vital role in developing a restoration policy for the large-scale destruction of Islamic heritage during the war and Orthodox Christian Heritage after the war. He negotiated the most difficult agreement on restoration of damaged cultural properties between the Orthodox Serbian Church and the Albanian Muslim- dominated Kosovo government. This arrangement is still working even after Kosovo secured its independence.

He served for seven years in the Post-War Kosovo region as a staff member of the United Nations, establishing and heading the Culture Ministry of Kosovo. During this tenure, he had the opportunity to revamp the old institutions for the protection of monuments in Kosovo established by Communist Yugoslavia into modern Heritage Institutions with help from Council of Europe and UNESCO. He led the drafting group of the Kosovo Heritage Law. During this time, UNESCO considered a couple of monuments from Kosovo as World Heritage Sites.

Mr Rao established the Kakatiya Heritage Trust (KHT) at Warangal, Telangana, India in 2009 after he left the United Nations. KHT works for the promotion of heritage of the Kakatiyas, a medieval dynasty that ruled the region, which is a part of the Deccan.