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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 sea or experience these pleasures through film or video. But all this depends on the proper treatment of wrecks and other underwater sites. If they are destroyed by haphazard ripping of objects from the site, the information and enjoyment are destroyed forever.
In November 2001, in an effort to prevent this happening and to establish rules for the proper treatment of underwater cultural heritage, some 87 States voted in favour of the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. This book explains the origin of the Convention, the politics behind its preparation and gives an interpretation of its provisions.
This completely updated second edition of the book originally published in 2002 examines the background to the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage 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.