Shipwrecked Heritage

A Commentary on the UNESCO Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage

By Patrick J O'Keefe

Shipwrecks are a significant source of history derived from archaeological examination. They are also a source of wonder and enjoyment for those who can go beneath the ocean's surface or who experience these pleasures through film or video. But, all this depends on the proper treatment of shipwrecks and other underwater sites. If they are destroyed by the haphazard ripping of objects from the site, the information and enjoyment are destroyed forever. In November 2001, in an effort to prevent this from happening and to establish rules for the proper treatment of underwater cultural heritage, some 87 States voted in favor of adopting the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. This updated second edition explains the origin of the Convention and the politics behind its preparation, and provides an interpretation of its provisions. The book examines the background to Convention and provides a detailed commentary on all the Articles of the Convention and the Rules contained in the Annex, clearly demonstrating the way in which the Convention seeks to regulate salvage and other activities relating to shipwrecks. The book provides contemporary examples of the impact of underwater salvage operations on the cultural heritage located beneath the surface of the oceans and the way in which the Convention can address these issues.

208 pages

Publication Date: 1/31/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781903987339