Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Safeguarding the Underwater Cultural Heritage

III. century wreck, Italy
© UNESCO/E. Trainito

"Underwater cultural heritage” encompasses all traces of human existence that lie or were lying under water and have a cultural or historical character.

Recognizing the urgent need to preserve and protect such heritage, UNESCO elaborated the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in 2001. The Convention enters into force in January 2009, since 20 states have ratified it. The United States is not among those which have ratified the treaty although Mexico, Cuba and Barbados have all done so.

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