“It would be unfortunate to allow heritage of such historical and archaeological value to be scattered, thereby depriving both scientists and the general public of access to an exceptional collection. Exploiting an archaeological site and dispersing its artefacts is an irreversible process. Yet the contents of the shipwreck found off the coast of the city of Cirebon have much to tell us about cultural and commercial exchanges in the region at that time,” said Ms Bokova. “UNESCO, through its 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, urges States to safeguard sunken heritage and to make it available for scientific study and public enjoyment. We therefore encourage the Indonesian government to make every effort to ensure that thorough scientific examination of the site is carried out and the artefacts are presented in museums. Evidently UNESCO stands ready to lend its expertise in museology and conservation to the Indonesian authorities.”
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