Reader in History and Professor at the Department of Art History, Conservation (Kulturvård). Deputy chair of department.
Coordinator of the course "Cultural heritage in peace and conflicts" (7.5 ECTS).
Keywords: kulturvård kulturarvsnoden energy efficiency conflict research cultural heritage conservation energy policies sustainable development hållbar utveckling heritage management post-conflict reconstruction
Also available at
I am Full Professor in Conservation and docent in History, stationed at the Unit of Conservation at the Department of Art History on Campus Gotland in Visby. I took my doctoral degree at Stockholm University in Sweden in 2004 at the Department of History. Since then I have been working with research and teaching on the preservation of especially built environment, but I have also been involved in management of museums and collections. I have researched historical perspectives on energy use in the built environment since 2009. In more recent years I have also developed a deeper interest in the management of cultural heritage after violent conflicts.
I have a long experience from teaching at university level. From 1998 to 2006 I worked as a teacher in history. I have been advising students at bachelor (undergraduate) level since 1998, and at master’s (graduate) level since 2004. I have been advising at the PhD level since 2011.
In teaching I am primarily involved in the courses Cultural Heritage in Peace and Conflicts and Ethics and Aesthetics of Cultural Heritage offered by Department of Philosophy.
I have often worked together with other scholars, both PhD candidates and more experienced researchers. In Sweden scholars compete for research grants from national foundations, and I have been quite successful in this venture: I have led three research projects funded by the Swedish Energy Agency about the possibilities of making historic buildings more energy efficient, and one four year project funded by the Swedish Research Council about the historical development of energy efficiency and indoor climate of buildings.
All three of these projects have included a team of researchers. I was responsible for putting these projects together, applying for funding and then carrying the projects out. Working in projects funded by agencies that wish to see practical results has given me experience in addressing urgent social issues (such as sustainable development, climate change and increased energy efficiency) and negotiating with a range of institutions such as government agencies, museums, and NGOs.
Some of my most recent contributions to international research in English are: "Heritage under attack: motives for targeting cultural property during armed conflict", International Journal of Heritage Studies (2017), together with J. Brosché, J. Kreutz and A. Ijla; Valorization and management of the built heritage of fortified towns: The cases of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sabbioneta, Italy, and Visby, Sweden.", in Sguardi ed esperienze sulla conservazione del patrimonio storico architettonico: Proceedings of the International Conference Preventive and Planned Conservation Monza, Mantova - 5-9 May 2014, (2016), (together with D. del Curto and K. Balksten); "Conservation versus thermal comfort – conflicting interests?: The issue of church heating, Sweden c. 1918-1975", Journal of Art History 84:3 (2015); "Not just a summer temple: The development of conservation and indoor climate in Nationalmuseum, Sweden", in Addressing the Climate in Modern Age's Construction History. Between Architecture and Building Services Engineering (ed. Carlo Manfredi), Springer Verlag (2019).
Legnér is leading the forum "Research Node Cultural Heritage", which is a network of scholars and master students interested in heritage studies at Uppsala University.
Areas of research:
- Uses and reconstruction of cultural heritage in conflict areas
- Adaptation and re-use of built environment in urban areas
- The use of culture and heritage in urban regeneration and revitalization
- Development of norms for indoor climate and their consequences for the use of indoor environment and technology
Leadership of larger research projects
- Energy efficiency and cultural values in housing. How well do the policies work on the local level? Funded by the Swedish Energy Agency 2020-23.
"An evaluation of previous policies on energy efficiency in buildings and their effects on energy use and historical values, Sweden 1974-2014." Funded by the Swedish Energy Agency 2015–2019.
"Attacks on cultural heritage: causes and consequences" Cooperative project with the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Uppsala University. Internal grant 2016.
"Research Node Cultural Heritage" Internal grant 2016-18.
"An historical perspective of energy efficiency in buildings." Funded by the Swedish Energy Agency 2011-15.
Management plans for historically valuable buildings (pilot). Swedish National Heritage Board 2014.
"Cultural heritage and comfort. The issue of suitable indoor climate in historic buildings in the 20th century". Funded by the Swedish Research Council 2010-15.
Industrial heritage and historic environment policies in urban regeneration. Tema Q, Linköping University, post doc 2006-2008.
Legnér, M., Geijer, M. 2015. Kulturarvet och komforten. Inomhusklimatet och förvaltningen av kulturhistoriska byggnader och samlingar 1850–1985. Krilon förlag.
Legnér, M., Lilja, S. (red.) 2010. Living cities : an anthology in urban environmental history. Formas förlag.
Legnér, M., Ponzini, D. (red.) 2009. Cultural Quarters and Urban Transformation: International Perspectives. Gotlandica förlag.
Legnér, M. 2009. Historic rehabilitation of industrial sites : cases from North American and Swedish cities. Department of Culture Studies: Linköping University.
Legnér, M. 2008. Industriarv och kulturmiljöpolicy i stadsförnyelseprocesser : Norrköping, Baltimore och Milano. Centrum för kommunstrategiska studier: Linköpings universitet.
Legnér, M. 2010. Abraham Abrahamsson Hülphers och 1700-talets ortsbeskrivningar. Gotland University Press.
Legnér, M. 2004. Fäderneslandets rätta beskrivning: Mötet mellan antikvarisk forskning och ekonomisk nyttokult i 1700-talets Sverige. Doctoral thesis, Stockholms universitet. Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland.
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