Underwater museum

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Definition

Underwater museums can be centred around shipwrecks, but also created around artificial reefs, statues[1] or other man-made constructions[2], which are placed under water for diver's attractions or are genuine archaeological sites. In the case of archaeological sites, the underwater museums are often established to protect the sites through allowing supervised access to sites for the public.[3]


Description

Underwater museums have been established around the world. An example of an underwater museum can be found for example, from Canada. The concept is partially in place in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island and in Fathom Five National Marine Park in Georgian Bay, Ontario; two dozen wrecks have been made accessible to visitors in each. Fathom Five receives the most visitors, with more than 50,000 dives every year.The popularity of scuba diving has made it possible to bring tourists to the site of one wreck or more wrecks under certain conditions, thus transforming it into an underwater ecomuseum. This option not only is less costly but also is consistent with the current trend of enjoying cultural heritage in its original environment.[4]

  1. Jason deCaires Taylor 2014: The Underwater Museum: The Submerged Sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor
  2. Dalia Hafiz 2011: Alexandria Underwater Museum For Sunken Monuments
  3. Cohn A.B. (2003) Lake Champlain’s Underwater Historic Preserve Program: Reasonable Access to Appropriate Sites. In: Spirek J.D., Scott-Ireton D.A. (eds) Submerged Cultural Resource Management. The Plenum Series in Underwater Archaeology. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-0069-8_8
  4. Robert Grenier 1995: The Concept of the Louisbourg Underwater Museum