12.08.2011 - UNESCO Venice Office

IKUWA 4 : Managing the Underwater Cultural Heritage

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After Sassnitz on the island of Rügen in Germany in 1999, Männedorf near Zurich in Switzerland in 2004 and London, England in 2008, preparations are under way to hold the fourth international congress on underwater archaeology IKUWA 4 from 29 September to 2 October 2011 in Zadar, Croatia, at the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology (ICUA) established under UNESCO's auspices as a Category II Centre. The theme of IKUWA4 is "Managing the underwater cultural heritage".

The congress is organised by the Croatian Ministry of Culture, the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, the County of Zadar, the City of Zadar, the University of Zadar, the City of Nin, the Archaeological Museum of Zadar and the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar with the support of the UNESCO Venice Office.

IKUWA focuses on underwater archaeology and emerged in response to the need to raise awareness of the importance of underwater cultural heritage in human history, and to create an international regulatory framework for the protection of underwater cultural heritage - which became a reality with the adoption of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.

Over 400 people from some 40 countries are expected to attend the congress. During four days lecturers will speak of their visions, achievements and plans for the future related to the management of underwater cultural heritage. Also under discussion will be the legal framework and guidelines for the protection of underwater cultural heritage, the management and presentation of underwater archaeological sites, the development of education and the active involvement of the public in protecting heritage.

The congress will be held at the lecture halls of the University of Zadar, and along with oral presentations there will also be presentations of expert panels, exhibitions of photographs and the results of underwater archaeological research, a film festival on topics related to underwater cultural heritage and excursions for congress participants, as well as a course on underwater archaeology organised by the Nautical Archaeological Society of England.

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