A Commentary on the UNESCO Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage. Second edition 2014
by Patrick J. O’Keefe
ISBN 978-1-903987-33-9 | Weight: 430g | 208 pages
In November 2001, after many years of discussion, the UNESCO Convention on Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage was adopted. Patrick O’Keefe has now revised and updated his original article by article commentary on this Convention, providing background information and insights into the thinking behind the provisions.
About the book:
Shipwrecks are a significant source of history derived from archaeological examination. They are also a source of wonder and enjoyment for those who can go beneath the sea or experience these pleasures through film or video. But all this depends on the proper treatment of wrecks and other underwater sites. If they are destroyed by haphazard ripping of objects from the site, the information and enjoyment are destroyed forever.
In November 2001, in an effort to prevent this happening and to establish rules for the proper treatment of underwater cultural heritage, some 87 States voted in favour of the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. This book explains the origin of the Convention, the politics behind its preparation and gives an interpretation of its provisions.
This completely updated second edition of the book originally published in 2002 examines the background to the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and provides a detailed commentary on all the Articles of the Convention and the Rules contained in the Annex, clearly demonstrating the way in which the Convention seeks to regulate salvage and other activities relating to shipwrecks. The book provides contemporary examples of the impact of underwater salvage operations on the cultural heritage located beneath the surface of the oceans and the way in which the Convention can address these issues.
About the Author:
Patrick J. O’Keefe has worked for more than 40 years on legal instruments to protect the underwater cultural heritage. As an official in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs he took part in negotiation of the Agreement between the Netherlands and Australia concerning Old Dutch Shipwrecks in 1971. In the late 1970s he co-authored two reports on which the Council of Europe Recommendation 848 was based, leading to the Council’s Draft European Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. In 1988 he became foundation chairman of the Cultural Heritage Law Committee of the International Law Association. The Committee prepared a Draft Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage which was adopted by the ILA at Buenos Aires in 1994 and sent to UNESCO for consideration. It became the basis for the early discussions in UNESCO. O’Keefe was an invited expert at the UNESCO meeting of experts in 1996 in Paris and attended all four meetings of governmental experts drafting the UNESCO Convention as observer for the ILA. He has written many articles and drafted legislation on legal protection of underwater cultural heritage.
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