Underwater archaeology, the activities of the BLUEMED project begin
The University of Calabria, together with nine European partners, has recently started the activities of the BLUEMED project, promoted by the European Union under the transnational cooperation programme INTERREG MED Programme 2014-2020. The main goal of BLUEMED, a project of the BLUEMED initiative under Italian leadership for sustainable growth in the European marine and maritime sectors, is to support responsible and sustainable tourism in coastal areas and islands of the Mediterranean for the valorisation of underwater natural and cultural heritage.
For this purpose, the BLUEMED project aims to develop strategies, innovative technologies, action plans and economic policies to be implemented by public administrations and other stakeholders involved in tourism promotion in order to define guidelines for the planning, establishment and implementation of underwater museums, diving parks and onshore visitor centres to raise awareness of the vast natural and archaeological heritage that lies on the Mediterranean seabed. The project includes the design and realization of underwater natural and cultural routes that will be made accessible through 3D reconstructions and virtual reality techniques in museum exhibitions.
Coordinated by the Region of Thessaly, Greece, the project involves a wide and qualified partnership which includes, in addition to the University of Calabria, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT), the University of Cyprus, the University of Patras, the University of Zagreb, the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Greek company Atlantis Consulting, Fundación Universidad Empresa de la Región de Murcia, Spain, and the Regional Development Agency of Dubrovnik, Croatia.
BLUEMED will last three years: the first year involves the development of methodologies, technologies and guidelines of the project; during the second and third years, testing activities will be carried out for the validation and promotion of results. During the last year, an experimental campaign will be conducted in four pilot sites: the Marine Protected Area “Capo Rizzuto” in Calabria; the Underwater Archaeology Park of Baia near Naples; the Sporades islands in Greece and the underwater site of Cavtat in Croatia. Here the methodologies and innovative tools developed by the project partners will be tested.
The University of Calabria participates in the project through the Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering (DIMEG) coordinated by Fabio Bruno. The project involves professors and researchers at the Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences (DIBEST) and the Department of Computer, Modeling, Electronics and Systems Engineering (DIMES).