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WRECKS4ALL: Unveiling the Southern Adriatic's Underwater Heritage

Published: March 18, 2024 - 09:00
Updated: March 21, 2024 - 12:42
WRECKS4ALL: Unveiling the Southern Adriatic’s Underwater Heritage
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The Laboratory of Maritime Archaeology Expands the WRECKS4ALL Vision in the Southern Adriatic Capitalization of the WRECKS4ALL Project within the IPA South Adriatic Programme.

Underwater cultural heritage serves as a pivotal asset for the scuba diving tourism sector, offering a unique blend of historical and cultural allure. This burgeoning industry not only fosters socio-economic growth within coastal communities but also plays a crucial role in enhancing regional cultural cohesion and fostering cross-border collaborations. The captivating appeal of submerged historical sites not only draws diving enthusiasts from around the globe but also underscores the importance of preserving our underwater cultural legacy. As a gateway to exploring the depths of our past, underwater cultural heritage sites offer a rich tapestry of stories and discoveries that contribute significantly to the tourism landscape and the broader cultural framework of coastal regions.

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The WRECKS4ALL project has set new regional standards for the accessibility of underwater cultural heritage through digitization and the promotion of scuba diving tourism. By utilizing digital technologies in WRECKS4ALL virtual reality showrooms and the WRECKS4ALL mobile application, the project has made the underwater cultural heritage of the Adriatic accessible to everyone. It has been recognized as one of the most successful projects co-financed by the European Union within the IPA Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro 2014-2020 program. Through the successful implementation of the project, the University of Montenegro has established the Laboratory of Maritime Archaeology to support the sustainability of the results and their further development.

Digitized wreck of a German Stuka dive bomber

The WRECKS4ALL vision of accessibility to attractive underwater cultural heritage is supported by the co-financing of the WRECKS4ALL 2.0 project

Capitalization by transferring the WRECKS4ALL model to new territories for the protection of underwater heritage through its digitization and valorization as a new tourist offer

within the IPA South Adriatic Programme. The project will be implemented throughout 2024 through conferences, B2B meetings, courses on underwater archaeology, and the digitization of underwater cultural heritage in Montenegro, Albania, and Italy.

The Laboratory of Maritime Archaeology, Faculty of Maritime Studies Kotor, University of Montenegro, as the leading partner, will transfer experiences and best practice models developed through the WRECKS4ALL project to the countries and regions of the southern Adriatic through a partnership consortium consisting of the Municipality of Vlora from Albania, the University of Salento from the Puglia region, and the Municipality of Kampomarino from the Molise region in Italy. The total value of the project is 187,096.68 EUR. The WRECKS4ALL 2.0 project will last for one year.

Thanks to the capacities developed through the WRECKS4ALL project during 2023, the Laboratory of Maritime Archaeology has continued to build capacities for documenting and popularizing the underwater cultural heritage of Montenegro.


Summary of the Wrecks4All

The WRECKS4ALL project, spearheaded by the Laboratory of Maritime Archaeology at the University of Montenegro, represents a groundbreaking initiative in the realm of maritime archaeology and cultural heritage preservation. By harnessing the power of digital technology, the project has successfully made the rich underwater cultural heritage of the Adriatic Sea accessible to a global audience, thereby setting new regional standards for the accessibility of such treasures. The project’s success has not only led to the establishment of the Laboratory of Maritime Archaeology but also paved the way for the launch of the ambitious WRECKS4ALL 2.0 project. This next phase aims to extend the project’s innovative model to new territories within the Southern Adriatic region, further promoting the protection, digitization, and valorization of underwater cultural heritage as a unique tourist offering.

With a total budget of 187,096.68 EUR and a consortium that includes partners from Albania, Italy, and Montenegro, the WRECKS4ALL 2.0 project is poised to enhance regional cultural cohesion, foster cross-border cooperation, and stimulate socio-economic benefits for coastal communities through scuba diving tourism. As we move into 2024, the efforts of the Laboratory of Maritime Archaeology and its partners in this endeavor will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the sustainability and expansion of underwater cultural heritage accessibility. This visionary approach not only preserves the past for future generations but also transforms it into a living, dynamic component of contemporary cultural and economic landscapes across the Southern Adriatic region.

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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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