02.11.2011 - Culture Sector

UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage celebrates its 10th Anniversary

© NOAA/IFE/URIView of the bow of the RMS Titanic.

Paris, 2 November - The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage celebrates its 10th Anniversary.

There is an incredible wealth of historical information on submerged archaeological sites that remains to be discovered. While some sites are already well-known, the majority of them must still be researched. To ensure that they are well-protected and publicly recognized, UNESCO adopted the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage on 2 November 2001. Over the 10 years of its existence, this treaty has become the foremost international legal instrument for the protection of the world's submerged cultural heritage. Underwater archaeologists worldwide have declared their fervent support for it, and 40 States have already officially become party to it. Treasure-hunting has therefore become increasingly stigmatized in the eyes of not only professionals, but also of the public.  Thanks to this Convention, submerged heritage will be protected to the same degree as land-based heritage.

On occasion of the 10th anniversary of the 2001 Convention, UNESCO is organizing a high-level scientific colloquium in Brussels (13-14 December). It has also launched a new website, including a children's page, and published a guide for underwater archaeology.

On the other side of the Atlantic, in Washington D.C., a Conference is being organized to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Convention as well as the 100th anniversary of one of the most famous submerged sites, the Titanic.




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