Born in Belgium in 1945. Professor of Aegean Civilizations in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Naples Federico II between 1973 and 2002. From February 2002 he is the Counsellor for Artistic Heritage of the President of the Italian Republic. He has studied the antique scripts of the Aegean civilizations (Minoan and Mycenaean) and has assembled the various corpora on Cretan hieroglyphic scripts, Linear A, the Phaestos Disk and Linear B. He has carried out excavations on the island of Crete since 1969, first at Malia and then at Canea and Monastiraki, and currently at Apodoulou, where he was the director of the archaeological mission of the University of Naples Federico II. Author of 72 monographs and 300 scientific articles on Europe, Art History, the Mediterranean civilizations and their history. Member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei since 1987, of the Institut de France (Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres) since 1998, of the Academy of Athens since 1998, of the Accademia Pontaniana (Naples) since 1998, of the Società Nazionale di Scienze, Lettere e Arti of Naples since 1999, of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut since 2002. He was awarded the Gold medal for contributions to science and culture in February 2001 and is Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic since February 2002. He is also Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and Commander of the British Empire.