International Conference on Cooperation in the Mediterranean Area
to Protect the Underwater Cultural Heritage
Participating countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, France, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Israel, Cyprus, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Monaco, Serbia and Montenegro, Syria, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.
An international conference on cooperation in the Mediterranan area to protect the underwater cultural heritage was held from 3 to 5 April 2003 in Siracusa, Italy.
The general sponsor of the gathering was UNESCO, and the organizers were the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Cultural Heritage of Italy, the Department of Cultural and Environmental Heritage and Education of the Sicilian Region, and ICCROM.
The conference was attended by representatives of various institutions from Mediterranean countries and international organizations, and distinguished Italian and international academics and scientists.
The purpose of the conference was to encourage a co-ordinated effort on the part of the authorities in the countries bordering the Mediterranean responsible for researching, enhancing and safeguarding the underwater cultural heritage, consistently with the aims enshrined in the international convention approved in Paris by the 31st UNESCO General Conference on 2 November 2001
The programme of the international conference on cooperation in the Mediterranean area to protect the underwater cultural heritage was divided into three sessions:
- the Archaeology session dealt with problems regarding the study and protection of theunderwater
- the Training and Education session focused on the training of the professionals responsible for
research, protection and enhancement of the cultural heritage;
- the Law session discussed the legislative and administrative instruments in force in the different countries and at the international level in the countries that accede to the UNESCO Convention (Paris 2001). The concluding plenary session was held on the final day, and included a presentation of the draft Convention to Protect the Mediterranean Underwater Cultural Heritage.
On the final day of the Conference, Bosnia and Herzegovina was represented by Alisa Marjanoviĉ, staff member for archaeology at the Secretariat of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, who spoke of the formation and operations of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the efforts it makes to adopt European and international standards and the latest trends in the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage.
The Commission representative contacted Mr. Mounir Bouchenaki, deputy director-general of UNESCO, and Maria Teresa Jaquinta, project manager for ICCROM. The discussion focused on future contact and collaboration with the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina.