Protecting shipwrecks 保護沉船殘骸

媒體英語會帶大家一起學習 BBC 撰稿人在報道世界大事時常用到的單詞和短語。

Image copyright BBC World Service
Image caption Divers under the sea

一組歷史學家擔心英國海底的沉船殘骸正在受到尋寶者的威脅。他們要求英國政府在聯合國一個保護沉船殘骸的公約上籤字。以下是 Jane Frances Kelly 為 BBC 發來的報道:

A group of leading archaeologists and scholars fear historically significant wrecks lying beyond Britain's territorial waters are being plundered and destroyed by commercial treasure hunters.

The UN convention covers ships that have been on the seabed for over a century. Quite apart from their historical significance, they are also the final resting place for those lost at sea. Sir Barry Cunliffe, retired Professor of European Archaeology at Oxford University, says the UN convention provides a legal and practical framework for protecting such sites.

Sir Barry Cunliffe, retired Professor of European Archaeology:

What it does mean is that if a British ship lies in deep waters outside [our] territorial waters, any signatory can prevent anyone who is doing treasure-seeking on that wreck from using their own ports. So it begins to strengthen our hold on our underwater cultural heritage.

In the past, some wrecks were protected from plunder because they lay deep beneath the sea, but advancing excavation techniques have stripped away this safeguard. Sir Barry says treasure hunters can be very destructive as they try to find valuable artefacts.

Britain abstained from voting for the convention back in 2001 because it doubted it would be effective given it doesn't have universal support. However, the British government says it has adopted the detailed practical guidelines provided by UNESCO when dealing with marine archaeology, and it will continue to keep its position under review. Sir Barry and his fellow scholars hope that their report will prompt ministers to take a fresh look at the matter.