Project history

Shipwrecks are part of the underwater cultural heritage defined by UNESCO as meaning "all traces of human existence having a cultural, historical or archaeological character which have been (….. ) under water (….) for at least 100 years". In order to preserve this heritage, UNESCO adopted a Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in 2001. This Convention recommends preservation in situ rather than excavation, and opposes the commercial exploitation of the items recovered and the dispersal of the items. It further emphasises the need for the transfer of competences, training in underwater archaeology, and the sharing of information.

The Cirebon wreck was excavated by a private company, Cosmix Underwater Research and Recovery, which listed all the archaeological data properly, ensured that the objects were carefully preserved and helped to train Indonesian archaeological divers.

Under the aegis of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (Fisheries Minister: Freddy Numberi)

Panitia National (Director: Freddy Numberi)

PT Paradigma Putra Sejhatera (Director: Adi Agung)

In collaboration with the Ministry of Culture

Cosmix Archaeological Underwater Excavation and Recovery

Director: Luc Heymans

Head divers: Jean-Paul Blancan and Daniel Visnikar

Scientific collaborations

Université Libre de Bruxelles (Prof. G. Raepsaet)

Université de Liège, centre européen d’archéométrie (Dr. G. Weber et Dr. L. Martinot, chercheurs FNRS)

Institut supérieur industriel de Bruxelles (Prof. J. Guillaume)

Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts visuels – La Cambre à Bruxelles

Claude Guillot (Membre honoraire CNRS – CASE)

Marie-France Dupoizat (Membre non-statutaire CNRS-CASE)