In a recent visit to the University of Malta’s Department of Classics and Archaeology, Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Hon. Julia Farrugia Portelli, confirmed that the Malta Tourism Authority will be partially funding the continuation of the Phoenician Shipwreck Project undertaken by the Department of Classics & Archaeology.
The funds of €90,000 will be spread over three years, and will help see the project to its completion.
Calling the work of the Department, more particularly the recent discoveries related to the Phoenician Shipwreck, a “historic discovery of global importance”, Minister Farrugia Portelli praised this as an opportunity for tourists to appreciate the underwater cultural heritage situated around Maltese shores.
Prof. Timmy Gambin, who is an Associate Professor at the department and spearheads the Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit at Heritage Malta, hosted the guests at the University and thanked the Ministry for their help, as it is enabled “a focus on increasing the quality of the heritage product and enriching the experience of those interested in our culture”.
Upon showing the high-resolution 3D imagery produced when diving underwater and scanning this unique maritime archaeological site, Prof. Gambin also mentioned that the innovative research involving underwater excavation is only possible thanks to the dedicated team of researchers who are committed to making more exciting discoveries in the next few years.
"Our seabed is rich with archaeological findings that are not accessible to all, and the valuable research by the Department of Classics & Archaeology, which are now boosted by the Ministry's financial efforts, will serve to bring such findings to the fore. I am sure locals and tourists will be more appreciative of these remains in their exploration of the Maltese heritage", said UM Rector, Prof. Alfred J. Vella, who was also present for the visit.
This innovative project is also funded by the Malta Airport Foundation, the Ministry for Gozo, the Honor Frost Foundation and Heritage Malta.