International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar
International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar was founded in 2007 in accordance with an international agreement signed between UNESCO and the Republic of Croatia. Management and financing of the center and its activities are carried out mainly by Republic of Croatia and the UNESCO.
The vision of the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology is the preservation and promotion of the Underwater Cultural Heritage of Croatia, South Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.
The mission of the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology is the protection, study and preservation of underwater cultural heritage in the Republic of Croatia, the development of international scientific cooperation and professional training in the field of underwater archeology and the popularization and presentation of underwater heritage to expert and general public.
Underwater archaeology in the Republic of Croatia has made considerable progress in the last couple of years and a high quality system for survey, research and protection of underwater archaeology sites and finds is being implemented. From now on, the focal point of these activities will be the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar (ICUA).
This new Centre was opened in September 2007 as an organizational unit of the Croatian Conservation Institute, a scientific and professional institution founded by the Republic of Croatia. In January 2009 the Centre was legally recognized as an independent institution, although it will stay closely linked to Croatian Conservation Institute.The decision to establish the Centre was based on the fact that Croatia was among the first countries to ratify the UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage from 2001. That was the reason for UNESCO to accept the Croatian initiative to proclaim the Centre in Zadar as a regional centre (category 2) under the auspices of UNESCO.
The main purpose of the Centre is to carry out educational activities in field of exploration, conservation and restoration of the underwater cultural heritage. It will also promote the ratification and implementation of the 2001 Convention by developing and sharing state-of-the-art methods of research in underwater archaeology, conservation and restoration, training and exchange of knowledge. The Centre will operate respecting the principles of the Convention and its annexes and it will contribute to building capacity in other countries in the region.
UNESCO training course
Underwater archaeology in Croatia has yielded a great number of results that pertain to the exploration and protection of underwater archaeological sites. To date over 400 sites have been registered from all historical periods, about 80 can be visited, some with expert guidance. Particular attention has been dedicated to the most threatened sites, protected in situ.