Indonesia cautious on UNESCO's underwater heritage convention

13:13, June 03, 2010      

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An Indonesian senior official said that the government is taking extra careful considerations whether to ratify the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) underwater heritage convention, local media reported here on Thursday.

"Indonesia still needs to carefully weigh up the benefits and consequences of ratifying (the convention)," Harry Untoro Dradjat, Director General for History and Archaeology at the Culture and Tourism Ministry' said.

Harry said that ratifying the UNESCO convention on protection of the underwater cultural heritages needed careful preparation, including adequate legislation, human resources, infrastructure and funding, the Jakarta Post daily reported.

The convention was adopted by UNESCO in 2001, and has been ratified by 31 countries as of May this year. Cambodia is the only signatory in Asia.

According to Masanori Nagaoka, head of culture unit UNESCO's office here, the convention carries four main principles: The obligation to preserve underwater cultural heritage, in situ preservation preferred, no commercial exploitation, and training and information sharing.

Indonesia has plenty of treasures and cultural heritages kept in shipwreck that scattered under its vast waters territory. The shipwrecks belonged to the Dutch colonist and merchants that sank centuries ago, loaded with precious things.

Source: Xinhua
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