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UNESCO and Hong Kong Maritime Museum’s joint efforts to promote local awareness of Underwater Cultural Heritage

UNESCO and Hong Kong Maritime Museum (HKMM) jointly announced the donation of the latest UNESCO publication to university libraries and the local community, in an attempt to raise local awareness of Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH). The launch of the new publication on 28th November 2017 in Hong Kong -Safeguarding Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Pacific: Report of Good Practices in the Protection and Management of World War II-related Underwater Cultural Heritage, was also a highlight of the 3rd Asia Pacific Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage, which took place between 27th – 30th November 2017 at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.

HKMMis part of a global network of maritime museums who share a commitment in protecting and interpreting underwater cultural heritage, and is also keen to highlight the importance of the City developing an integrated strategy for protecting underwater cultural assets in Hong Kong waters. The Museum is delighted to support the book launch and the conference, in orderto bring to Hong Kong some of the world’s leading experts and agencies such as UNESCO which operates in the area of education, sciences, culture and communication, as well as to raise the awareness of the general public to the importance of protecting and managing the underwater cultural heritage.

A joint effort of different organisations and experts, including the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund and the School of Marine Science and Technology of Tokai University in Japan and many other contributors, has been made to produce this publication, in order to highlight the multiple values that WWII-related underwater cultural heritage holds for a diverse range of communities, illustrates the past and ongoing efforts in addressing the risks of pollution, safety issues and identify good practices to address these risks.

To further support the research and learning of maritime archaeology, the nine local university libraries will receive complimentary copies of the book. Public who are interested in learning could also obtain a FREE copy while stock lasts. An online copy is also available on HKMM website. For details, please visit HKMM website http://www.hkmaritimemuseum.org/chi/research/underwater-cultural-heritage/unesco-publications/88/187/).

Given this opportunity, the Museum has showcased our recent collection, the award-winning ship model of WWII U.S. Fletcher Class destroyer DD-451 Chevalier built and donated by Mr. Douglas Chan, in the Creating Victoria Harbour Gallery on C-deck to enhance the delight of the general public in heritage appreciation. It would be the first time of this model to be showcased in a museum, and will be displayed until 31st December 2017.

Mr. Richard Wesley, Museum Director of HKMM said, “I am sure such a delicate piece could not be done without great passion, patience, time and skills, and I quote from Mr. Douglas Chan, ‘Building a model is not just an exercise to challenge or practice modelling skills, but a process to look into the subject’s history, and try to bring its history to others.’”