Saving Underwater Cultural Heritage in Asia and Pacific


Our underwater cultural heritage is under the increasing threat of looters, treasure and souvenir hunters, the lack of legal protection, and natural disasters. With the financial support of the Royal Government of Norway, UNESCO has initiated a project on "Safeguarding the Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific". Under this project, a regional field training centre was established in Chanthaburi, Thailand to build capacity and promote policies and best practices in maritime archaeology. To showcase the threatened underwater heritage and raise public awareness, the first ever exhibition in the Asia-Pacific region on "Underwater Cultural Heritage" was recently opened at Siam Ocean World in Bangkok, Thailand. Visitors journey through stunning underwater heritage scenes from around the world displayed in large photographs; view a replica of a shipwreck; explore discoveries from the seabed; and enjoy demonstrations by underwater archaeologists in an aquarium. The exhibition will travel around Thailand and eventually be displayed permanently at the National Maritime Museum in Chanthaburi, Thailand. The Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage was adopted by UNESCO in 2001. It is an international treaty on principles, standards and guidelines for protecting underwater cultural heritage.

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