Mediterranean Underwater Cultural Heritage created

In Paestum plan launched for archaeological underwater sites

05 November, 18:51

    The archaeological site of Pavlopetri in Greece The archaeological site of Pavlopetri in Greece

    NAPLES - Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicily, Greece, Egypt, Israel and Turkey are the underwater archaeological sites of European cultural itinerary "Mediterranean Underwater Cultural Heritage" to be presented on November 26 during the Mediterranean conference on underwater archaeological tourism at the Mediterranean Bourse of Archaeological Tourism in Paestum. The eight sites present themselves as the European itinerary of underwater cultural heritage of the Mediterranean: from the submerged bay of Campi Flegrei and the underwaterpark of Gaiola in Campania, to the Egadi islands, Pantelleria, Plemminio and Ustica in Sicily, the sites of Egnazia, Tremiti islands, San Pietro in Bevagna in Puglia, to end with the Italian side in Capo Rizzuto, Calabria.

    The itinerary will then include the Mediterranean with diving in Pavlopetri and Peristera in Greece, in Alexandria of Egypt and Caesarea Maritima, in Israel and Kizlan, in Turkey.

    The itinerary represents a key resource for responsible and sustainable tourism, responding to the requirements of the Council of Europe and with the consideration that there are still few equipped sites that can be used by the public, both in Italy and in the rest of the Mediterranean. The request to the Council of Europe for a certification has the objective of shedding light on the potential of underwater archaeological tourism, which can offer to the traveller an unprecedented experience in archaeology.

    The candidature comes from an idea of Ugo Picarelli, director and founder of BMTA: "The itinerary - he explained - fills a void, because among the 45 currently certified there isn't one dedicated to archaeology. Thanks to archaeologist Sebastiano Tusa, who in 2004 created the superintendency of the sea in Sicily, I understood the great potential of touristic and economic development offered by underwater heritage".

    On the valorization of underwater archaeological sites also invests archaeologist Lina Mendoni, minister of culture and sport in Greece, who will be in Paestum to receive the prize "Paestum Mario Napoli". "The underwater archaeological heritage in Greece - she explained - is huge and valorizing it is one of the main objectives of the Greek ministry of culture and sport that over the last few years, in collaboration with local institutions, has started a campaign to enhance and requalify underwater archaeological sites in various areas of the country.

    The objective of the campaign is to make underwater sites, both close to the coast and in the open sea, accessible and attractive not just to underwater communities but also to the great public.

    Pavlopetri and Peristera are two sites in which the necessary infrastructural work has already been done, as part of pilot projects aimed at making accessible both sites, also through digital imaging systems". The Greek minister then stressed: "Sustainability, controlled development and uniform development of the tourism flow during the year, and not on a seasonal basis, are the key principles of policies implemented by the Greek ministry of culture and sport. This is particularly true in coastal and underwater sites that are for natural reasons more vulnerable and increasingly threatened by the effects of climate change".

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