A new museum, the first of its kind, is to be built partly above and partly under water. The submerged part of the complex will enable visitors to see archaeological remains on the Egyptian seabed. Other artefacts recovered from the Bay of Alexandria and adjacent sites will be presented in exhibition spaces above water.
UNESCO has established an International Scientific Advisory Committee to help lay the ground for an innovative underwater museum in the Bay of Alexandria, Egypt, where major archaeological remains are to be found, including Cleopatra’s Palace and the fabled Alexandria Lighthouse, or Pharos.
The Government of Egypt’s plan to build an underwater museum comes amidst growing recognition of the importance of underwater cultural heritage. Eighteen countries have now ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, which will enter into force shortly, three months after its ratification by the 20th State.
Underwater cultural heritage preservation is also the subject of a short new documentary film, produced by UNESCO’s Culture Sector. The film, focusing on UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, highlights the importance of saving submerged cultural property which has become increasingly vulnerable to pillaging with the development of more sophisticated and affordable diving equipment.
The film, whose spectacular footage includes images from the sea off Alexandria, stresses the advantages of research and preservation of submerged archaeological sites in situ, which is also one of the objectives of the Egyptian museum project. You can watch the film at http://www.unesco.org/culture/en/underwater/film/
For more information see UNESCO’s web site.