On September 4, UNESCO announced its plans to help Egypt build an underwater museum in the Bay of Alexandria. Parts of the museum will be submerged while other parts will be located above the surface. This construction will allow visitors to view not only marine life but also the myriad of archaeological artefacts that can be found on the site.

egypt Underwater museum to be constructed in Alexandria, Egypt

The proposed area for the underwater museum holds archaeological remnants from thousands of years ago. In 1994, remains of the illustrious Alexandria Lighthouse, also known as Pharos, were discovered on the floor of Alexandria’s Eastern Harbour by divers, and more findings have now been done with the aid of satellite imaging. The Lighthouse of Alexandria was constructed between 285 and 247 BC on the island of Pharos in Alexandria. For many centuries, it was one of the tallest man-made structures in the world and it is traditionally regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

According to Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, the proposed museum will help raise awareness of the need to protect underwater cultural heritage sites. “Until UNESCO’s Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention enters into force, there is no specific international law that can protect it against treasure hunters”, says Matsuura. “This project will certainly enhance the appreciation of underwater cultural heritage and raise awareness of the urgent need to protect it from looting.

The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage was adopted in 2001. You can learn more about it and about our common underwater cultural heritage in this film produced by UNESCO: http://www.unesco.org/culture/en/underwater/film/. As scuba diving equipment and other technical devices becomes more and more advanced and affordable, the risk of pillaging and heritage destruction increases.

UNESCO is a specialized agency under the United Nations. Its stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter.