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Underwater Cultural Heritage

Statement made on 31 October 2017

Statement UIN HCWS208


In the Culture White Paper, published in March 2016, we undertook to review the government’s position on ratification of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. Earlier this year we said we were considering plans for a review, with a view to making an announcement.

Since we published the Culture White Paper, we have had to reconsider our priorities and our ability to carry out a review in the light of changing circumstances.

As a result, we have decided to defer the review while we focus our efforts and resources on delivering new and more immediate priorities.

The government has adopted the principles set out in the annex to the Convention as best practice in the management of underwater cultural heritage. There is no change to this.

We remain committed to reviewing the government’s position on ratification of the Convention when priorities and resources permit.