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NCAC Staff Reaps Benefit From Underwater Archaeological Training

By Yunus S Saliu

Musa Foon, a Museum and Site Attendant at the National Centre for Arts and Culture is one of the selected people who recently attended a training course in underwater cultural heritage archaeology in Turkey and Cabo Verde, a training organized by UNESCO.

Meanwhile, in February 2024, The Gambia formally became a State Party to the UNESCO 2001 Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage. This Convention seeks to valorize and protect the rich cultural heritage, which is underwater bodies such as rivers, seas, lakes, wells, and oceans.

Accordingly, the National Centre for Arts and Culture(NCAC), which is the implementing agency for this Convention, has lost no time in starting to reap the benefits of membership in the Convention, as the staff benefitted from the UNESCO-organized training of the underwater cultural heritage archaeology in Turkey and Cabo Verde.

The attendee, Musa Foon, explained to this medium that the Turkey training lasted 10 days and was held at Antalya, and was organized by UNESCO and Akdeniz University of Turkey. The programs included theoretical sessions, practical diving experience, photogrammetry dives, and underwater photography practices.

He amplified the training saying it was very interactive and useful. ‘Above all, as an active diver from McCarthy with a long history of trade along the River Gambia in The Gambia, I was able to share my personal experiences with my colleagues.”

About the future, he explained that his department the NCAC will support him to have step-down seminars for other NCAC staff and also tour guides on the island to share his expertise and experience in Underwater Cultural Heritage.

Mr. Foon thanked the UNESCO 2001 Convention Secretariat and the Turkish authorities for supporting his participation in the course. ‘My sincere thanks go to Moussa Wele of UNESCO Dakar Regional Office for West Africa for actively supporting my participation,’ he expressed gratitude.

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Yunus S Saliu

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