CAIRO – 25 July 2022: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], has renewed its warning to demand protection of underwater cultural heritage worldwide, pointing out that the remains of the Titanic, which has been lying in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean since its sinking in 1912, are in danger. This is because expeditions to its site, pollution and bacteria break up its debris. It is expected to be gone by 2050.
UNESCO said that the “largest museum” in the world is located under the oceans, lakes and rivers of every country and on the high seas. It includes fossil evidence and early human settlements that sank due to rising sea levels after the Ice Age. This heritage speaks of our identity as human beings, as it is a basic evidence that humanity's past has not yet been put in its rightful place.
According to famous archaeologists James Delgado, a Canadian-American marine archaeologist, who has spent nearly four decades in underwater excavations; and Michel Lauer, head of French underwater archaeology, who has spent nearly 4 decades excavating and scientifically researching, protecting the sites of Underwater Cultural Heritage from plunder and commercial exploitation is very important.
“The sinking past provides insight into how we as a species interacted with water to travel and spread across the world, harvest food from it, use it to defend ourselves, to trade, and how we sometimes worshiped it as a manifestation of divine power. We need to protect this legacy, and we have to learn from it, and share what it has to teach us with the rest of the world,” James Delgado said when asked why he so values the Underwater Cultural Heritage.
Michel Lauer agrees, drawing attention to the need to better protect underwater cultural heritage sites. “These sunken pages of our past are now in danger everywhere,” said Lauer.