Twenty States have now ratified the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, which therefore will enter into force on 2 January 2009, three months after the deposit of the 20th instrument of acceptance.
“This is a very important step in the history of the safeguarding of cultural heritage,” declared Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO.
“This represents an essential addition to UNESCO’s standard-setting apparatus.
From now on, it will be possible to offer legal protection to the historical memory that is in underwater cultural heritage, thus curtailing the growing illicit trade by looters.”
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