Cooperation with UNESCO
The Republic of Lithuania was accepted to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) on 7 October 1991. In 1992, Lithuania acceded to UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, and in 2004 – to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
On 2 November 2001, UNESCO adopted the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. The purpose of this convention is to protect the underwater cultural heritage in situ and not to allow its exploitation for commercial purposes. The Republic of Lithuania ratified this convention on 12 June 2006; the convention became effective on 2 January 2009.
The implementation of the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in Lithuania is coordinated by the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture; a delegated representative of the Department is Deputy Director Algimantas Degutis.
On the questions of the implementation of the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, member states are advised by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body (hereinafter, the Advisory Body). At the Advisory Body, Lithuania is represented by Prof Vladas Žulkus who was the first in Lithuania to start research in underwater archaeology and is an expert member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, a member of the Society of the Lithuanian Archaeology and a member of the Underwater Cultural Heritage Working Group of the Group of Monitoring of Cultural Heritage of the Baltic Sea States.
In 2013, Prof Vladas Žulkaus prepared an article, in which he discussed the implementation of the provisions of UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in Lithuania (definitions, legal acts and practical examples).