Ljubljanica receives Unesco award for best practice in underwater cultural heritage

Ljubljanica. Photo. Nebojša Tejić/STA

Adopted at Unesco’s headquarters in Paris in 2001, the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage aims to provide legal and practical protection for archaeological remains preserved in the world’s oceans, seas and continental waters, to promote research into this segment of cultural heritage, and to coordinate work standards at the international level.

The convention was ratified by Slovenia in 2008. On 21 June 2019, just a few days before Statehood Day, Slovenia received two important international recognitions at the 7th conference of convention signatories in Paris that rank it alongside some of the world’s maritime superpowers.

Internationally renowned underwater archaeologist Dr Andrej Gaspari, head of the archaeology department at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Arts, was elected to the Scientific and Technical Advisory Board (STAB) with the support of the majority of the state signatories. Through his research, his work on legislation and his international involvement, he has laid the foundations of advanced underwater archaeology in Slovenia, and has helped to spread the principles of the convention at home and internationally.

The Ljubljanica project received a Unesco award for best practice in underwater cultural heritage. The Ljubljanica river is one of the most important but also one of the most at-risk archaeological sites in Slovenia, and was proclaimed a cultural monument of national importance in 2003. The project encompassing underwater investigation, the conservation and exhibition of a dugout from the 2nd century, remedial work on the river banks, monitoring, analysis and documentation of the riverbed and a sawdust repository, and the creation of the Ljubljanica River exhibition  in Vrhnika has been highlighted on several occasions at international meetings as an example of best practice in the field of cultural heritage.
This recognition for scientific work and expertise, which Maja Bahar Didović, general director of the Cultural Heritage Directorate was on hand to receive in Paris, is further evidence of the importance of Slovenia’s underwater cultural heritage, and is also a guarantee of its commitment to further development in the field.

Source: Slovenia Weekly