The Government of Estonia has ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. The UNESCO convention was adopted in 2001 and is intended to protect “all traces of human existence having a cultural, historical or archaeological character which have been partially or totally under water, periodically or continuously, for at least 100 years”.
The Minister of Culture, Tõnis Lukas, said: “Estonia is a maritime country and both in our waters and in international waters near us is a lot of underwater cultural heritage that needs protection. Joining the convention will provide a stronger basis for the protection of underwater cultural heritage, improve international cooperation and increase Estonia’s reputation as a maritime country.”
The Baltic Sea is rich in underwater cultural heritage. An estimated 20,000 shipwrecks are spread across the sea.
Map of the Baltic Sea region. Image: NormanEinstein Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0. & Exposition in the Estonian Maritime Museum in Tallinn. Image: Shoestring Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0.
For more information about the convention, watch the YouTube video below. Or download the download the brochure on the convention here.