Doc. 9182

27 July 2001

Maritime and fluvial cultural Heritage

Recommendation 1486 (2000)

Reply from the Committee of Ministers

adopted at the 761st meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (18 July 2001)

The Committee of Ministers has considered Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1486 (2000) on “Maritime and fluvial cultural heritage” and decided to bring it to the attention of member states’governments. It emphasises the merits of the all-embracing approach adopted by the Recommendation, which covers both the immovable heritage, architecture and installations and ships and other movable items. It urges the public authorities to work in co-operation with non-governmental organisations to develop this particular heritage in the spirit of the Conventions for the protection of the architectural heritage of Europe (Granada 1985) and the protection of the archaeological heritage (Valletta 1992).

To reduce and prevent the threats to the conservation of our common cultural heritage deriving from certain forms of operation or use of the property concerned, the Committee of Ministers insists, along with the Parliamentary Assembly, on the need to establish local and regional co-operation. In the field of international co-operation, a new Convention is currently being drafted under the auspices of UNESCO, whose government experts are due to meet for the 4th time in July 2001.

The Committee of Ministers has invited its member states to play a positive role in preparing and adopting this Convention.


Opinion of the Cultural Heritage Committee (CC-PAT) on Recommendation 1486 (2000) on “Maritime and fluvial cultural heritage” of the Parliamentary Assembly

(adopted by the Bureau of the CC-PAT on 9 May 2001)


-       congratulates the Parliamentary Assembly on drafting and adopting this text, which was a most useful contribution to the Campaign “Europe: A Common Heritage”;

-       notes that it raises matters important to all member states, and illustrates aspects of the issues of standard-setting, identification, conservation, management and promotion common to the cultural heritage as a whole;

-       wishes to develop co-operation with the Parliamentary Assembly in the field of cultural heritage, especially in the field of standard setting and, if possible, at the early stage in preparation of reference texts;

-       proposes that the European Heritage Network (HEREIN) be utilised as a means of disseminating case studies and exchanging good practice in these fields;

-       recommends that it be drawn to the attention of the CLRAE, given its emphasis on the importance of the role of local and regional, as well as national, authorities;

-       supports the Recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly subject to the following specific observations:


-       welcomes the comprehensive and integrated approach to water-related heritage represented by this Recommendation, which might be reflected in a more comprehensive title;

-       recognises the great potential of the maritime and fluvial heritage, for example in urban renewal and regeneration, and in sustaining regional traditions;

-       notes, however, that interpretations of international law prevent some member states from applying the Recommendation insofar as it applies to heritage under the sea;

-       recalled that a draft convention on underwater cultural heritage prepared under the auspices of the Council of Europe was not opened to signature because of such complex legal issues relating to the law of the sea;

-       notes that a new Convention is currently being drafted under the auspices of UNESCO1 with a view of adopting the text during the 2001 general conference;

-       therefore, strongly urges member states to play a positive role in preparing and adopting that Convention.

1 The 4th meeting of government experts will be reconvened from 2 to 7 July 2001