Ten historic underwater sites now available for viewing to all through reality virtual technology

Through an investment of €100,000 the Malta Authority for Tourism has now made available underwater sites and artefacts that were previously only available to be viewed by divers for these to be appreciated by the general public through reality virtual technology. The Minister for Tourism, Julia Farrugia Portelli, said that during the pandemic months, work continued to enable the reclamation that makes the country a unique destination.

The remains extend from Phoenician underwater remains to a World War II submarine because the Mediterranean waters around the islands are a treasure of historical value and interests that attract thousands of divers to the Islands to enjoy diving holidays. It is estimated that last year 6% of Malta’s tourists were on diving holidays and thus through cooperation between the Tourism Authority, Malta University and Heritage Malta, the Islands now have a virtual museum of underwater remains and artefacts.

Now, ten historic underwater sites may be enjoyed by all. Professor Timmy Gambin said the project involved elaborate scanning.

He said the Archaeology Department at Malta University is handling the large project Syntagram, where hundreds of kilometres underwater are being covered where they are indications of underwater artefacts. This includes ships, vessels and aircraft and an international team established special recording equipment.

Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said that although this year tourism is making a belated start all efforts are taking place to ensure that the Maltese Islands remain a tourist attraction. She said the country is prepared to meet tourists in the coming hours by offering a different product to those who wanted to experience before the onset of the pandemic.

Authority Chairman Gavin Gulia said that through such projects Malta will continue attracting tourists from particular niches because figures show these are always popular.

Anthony Scicluna, Chairperson of Heritage Malta expressed his satisfaction that a few months after Heritage Malta gave birth the Department for Underwater Cultural Heritage, this is already beginning to bear fruit. He said this will provide added value to tourism.