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Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage: from the Shortcomings of the Un Convention on the Law of the Sea to the Compromises of the Unesco Convention

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Chapter Summary

The first legislative attempt to develop rules for the protection of the underwater cultural heritage was undertaken at the regional level by the Council of Europe. In 1994 the International Law Association adopted the Draft Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, prepared by its Committee on Cultural Heritage. Recommendation 848 (1978) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was the first instrument to deal with the protection of underwater cultural heritage. The chapter describes the 2001 UNESCO Convention that deals with a very complicated issue that involves a variety of interests and laws both at national and international level. It also describes the bodies of laws involved in the protection of the underwater cultural heritage as a legal labyrinth.

Keywords: 2001 UNESCO Convention; Council of Europe; draft convention; International Law Association; underwater cultural heritage



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