Cultural Heritage Management and Maritime Law
The management of submerged cultural heritage is not only difficult because of the nature of the marine environment but especially so because this environment is subject to a very different regulatory regime to that applicable on land. It is subject to “maritime law.” This potentially impacts on every aspect of cultural heritage management the further out to sea the heritage lies.
In a very broad sense, “maritime law” is composed of two separate bodies of law: admiralty law (largely of a private law nature) and the law of the sea (public law). These bodies of law, together with a third body of law – cultural heritage law – intersect and potentially apply to cultural heritage that lies below the low-water mark. All three of these bodies of law are underpinned by an international law framework, though this is interpreted, implemented, and supplemented by differing national perspectives, making the management of underwater cultural heritage particularly...
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