Malta Wreck Amnesty 2005 sign now

In the past many divers have either ignored or been genuinely unaware of the need to report underwater cultural heritage finds as stipulated in the Cultural Heritage Act of 2002 (Chapter 445) and prior to this, the Antiquities Act of 1925. This mainly happened because of the laissez-fair from the authorities who never enforced or showed signs of disapproval towards such acts, as well as the lack of divers knowledge on the archaeological value and legislation on underwater heritage items.

The aim of this petition is to protect the artefacts which over the past years have been salvaged from the seabed and now form part of private collections. The diving community is now aware that investigations are underway and there is the risk that some antiquities and artefacts may even be destroyed intentionally by their possessor in an effort to avoid being prosecuted.

Consequently we are hereby recommending the Maltese authorities to grant an amnesty, so as to allow scuba divers or any other persons who have such items in their possession to report them to the authorities. This amnesty will not safeguard future persistent offenders under the Cultural Heritage Act (Chapter 445)

This suggested amnesty will encourage divers, fishermen and other sea-users in Malta, to come forward and report any underwater cultural heritage in their possession. The amnesty would be an initiative to increase finders knowledge of the legal requirement to report cultural heritage finds and create awareness, that failure to report antiquities carries the risk of prosecution. It will give an opportunity to present illegal holders of finds to come forward before possible action is taken by the authorities to recover items and/or prosecute holders. Furthermore, the amnesty will also allow the authorities to finally compile a comprehensive register of all recovered goods.

A similar three-month amnesty was launched on the 23rd January, 2001, by the Receiver of Wreck in the UK. This amnesty was very well received and attracted a positive response, particularly from the diving community . Following the success of the British initiative other countries such as Bermuda have introduced similar initiatives modelled on the British scheme. International diving organizations like PADI, BSAC and SAA have supported and assisted the Receiver of Wreck throughout the amnesty.

An amnesty coupled with a commitment from the authorities to acknowledge and exhibit the more historically and archeologically important artefacts recovered, will enrich the awareness of our national heritage treasures. Every generation has the duty to protect this heritage and to make it accessible for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

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Latest Signatures

  • 21 January 2016500. Matthew C
    I support this petition
  • 10 January 2016499. Rita G
    I support this petition
  • 09 January 2016498. Michelle Barnes
    I support this petition
  • 04 January 2016497. Gordon P
    I.D. Card or Passport No. 466971(M) Nationality Maltese Diver? No В
  • 03 January 2016496. Stephen B
    I.D. Card or Passport No. 259743M Nationality Maltese Diver? No В
  • 15 December 2015495. Drake Mcknight
    I support this petition
  • 14 December 2015494. Abigail B
    I support this petition
  • 17 November 2015493. Andrew A
    I support this petition
  • 26 October 2015492. Anna S
    I support this petition
  • 18 October 2015491. Lorianne C
    I support this petition
  • 12 October 2015490. Simon C
    I support this petition
  • 03 October 2015489. Vanessa F
    I.D. Card or Passport No. 461980(m) Nationality Maltese Diver? No An Underwater Heritage Museum would be an asset to our island!
  • 21 September 2015488. Helen C
    I support this petition
  • 09 September 2015487. Claire C
    I support this petition
  • 21 August 2015486. Mary Rosea
    I support this petition
  • 11 August 2015485. Fiorita Khan
    I support this petition
  • 29 July 2015484. Antoine M
    I support this petition
  • 27 July 2015483. Alison C
    I support this petition
  • 25 July 2015482. Malcolm A
    I support this petition
  • 02 July 2015481. Carlo Abbott
    I support this petition
  • 26 June 2015480. Krista P
    I.D. Card or Passport No. 385987M Nationality Maltese Diver? No An archaeologist would tell you that the value in these artifacts lies in their location & position UNDERWATER, another anphora on land tells us nothing new. Artifacts removed from the w
  • 16 June 2015479. Kevin C
    I.D. Card or Passport No. 19359m Nationality Maltese Diver? No В
  • 15 June 2015478. Timothy B
    I support this petition
  • 06 June 2015477. Darren O
    I support this petition
  • 31 May 2015476. Giuseppina C
    I support this petition
  • 31 May 2015475. Adrian M
    I support this petition
  • 21 May 2015474. Joseph G
    I.D. Card or Passport No. 108771(M) Nationality Maltese Diver? No As I am not a diver - would love to see these items exhibited

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Information

Dorothea BryantBy:
People and OrganizationsIn:
Petition target:
Ministry for Tourism and Culture, Ministry for Justice and Home Affairs, Superintendence of Cultural Heritage Malta

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