Brussels, 17 January 2002
An EU-funded project has brought together experts from Finland, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK to help preserve Europe's underwater cultural artefacts.
The MoSS (Monitoring, safeguarding and visualising north European shipwreck sites) project, which aims to raise interest in Europe's underwater treasures, is the first EU-funded initiative of its kind.
Its particular focus will be four shipwrecks in Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and Germany. The oldest is a medieval cog, dating from the 13th century, found at the mouth of the German town of Prerowstrom. The wrecks also include a well-preserved shipwreck from the 1650s in the Wadden Sea off Holland, a trade ship wrecked in the Finnish archipelago in 1771 and a paddle steamer which met its fate in Sweden's Lake Vättern in 1856.
The project aims to inform researchers and cultural preservationists as well as the general public. It will work to monitor, safeguard and visualise shipwrecks and the environments in which they are preserved. The project will include research on the process of degradation and the use of various imaging media to study the four wrecks in their underwater environment.
The EC's Culture 2000 programme, which supports international cultural collaboration, will contribute 690,000 euro towards the project's total budget of 1,157,000 euro. The objectives of the Culture 2000 initiative include encouraging collaboration, promoting European cultural treasures and spreading knowledge about the history and culture of the European people.
Finland's Museum of Maritime History in Helsinki is coordinating the MoSS project, which will run from 2001 to 2004.
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