07.06.2010 -

Underwater Heritage Convention held first meeting of its scientific and technical advisory body (Cartagena, 13 – 15 June 2010)

© Archivo ARQUA / UNESCOPhoenician shipwreck Mazarrón 2 off the coast of Murcia, Spain.

The scientific and technical advisory body of the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Heritage met for the first time, at Spain’s National Museum of Underwater Archaeology (ARQUA) in Cartagena, from 13-15 June.

One of the essential instruments of the UNESCO Convention to protect submerged cultural artefacts, this body comprises 11 high-level experts and researchers* elected for two years. They are responsible for determining the main directions regarding good practice and the management of underwater archaeological sites. At this first meeting, they will tackle the question of collaboration with non-governmental organizations whose activities are linked to protecting underwater heritage and sharing information between States party to the Convention.                    

The Convention on the Protection of Underwater Heritage was adopted by the 2001 UNESCO General Conference. It aims to ensure better protection of wrecks, sites, decorated caves and other cultural remains lying underwater. This international treaty is one of the international community’s responses to the growing pillage and destruction of underwater heritage by treasure-hunters. In situ conservation is preferred under the Convention, which also aims to facilitate public access to submerged sites and to encourage archaeological research.

 * Francisco Alves (Portugal), Milton Eric Branford (Saint-Lucia), Pilar Luna Erreguerena (Mexico), Andrej Gaspari (Slovenia), Hugo Eliecer Bonilla Mendoza (Panama), Jasen Mesic (Croatia), Kalin Stoynev Porozhnov (Bulgaria), Carmen García Rivera (Spain), Hossein Tofigian (Islamic Republic of Iran), Serhiy Oleksandrovych Voronov (Ukraine) and Vladas Zulkus (Lithuania).  

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