UNESCO to send experts to Haiti to examine Santa Maria wreck

The government of Haiti requested assistance from UNESCO to provide technical support to protect the underwater cultural heritage. The UNESCO has accepted to send a mission to the site of the wreck of Santa Maria of Christopher Columbus. The Haitian minister for Culture sent a letter to UNESCO requesting the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body of UNESCO 2001 to send experts who will be able to protect the underwater cultural heritage site from being looted. The letter was dated June 12th, and the UNESCO agreed with the minister to give the necessary support.


The wreck is located in north Haiti, off the town of Cap-Haitien. The UNESCO will send a mission to carry out an examination of the wreck in the coming months. The director general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed concern about the danger associated with looting the Underwater Cultural Heritage off the shores of Haiti. The director showed a willingness to fight the illegal trafficking of underwater cultural heritages. The director also urged states to join efforts in fighting this illegal underwater culture heritage trafficking and find the already stolen artifacts from the sites. The mission that will be carried out by UNESCO will also aim at finding the stolen artifacts.

The mandate of the Underwater Heritage Convention of UNESCO 2001 was adopted with the aim of protecting underwater cultural heritage. It also supports research and international cooperation in the field of underwater heritage. The body has been supported by several states, including Haiti, to safeguard the heritage and overexploitation of the sites, as well as the fighting illegal trafficking of artifacts.

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