With Heritage Malta having just opened three sites of historical importance located on the seabed, the agency now has 15 maritime sites of archaeological importance.
The sites are B-24 American Liberator bomber which is sunk outside the port of Marsaxlokk, Douglas A-1 which is located just outside Birżebbuġa and JU 88 (South) which is at a depth of 110 meters. outside Marsaskala.
Professor Timmy Gambin from the Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit said that these sites had created a tourist niche that is highly sought after by specialized divers who would need to register before going down to these sites.
The first 12 maritime sites were opened in 2019, among them a 2,700-year-old Phoenician ship and aircraft from the 20th century.
The Minister for National Heritage, Jose Herrera, said that maritime archeology was not always considered important and explained that the number of land sites recognized by Unesco would be increased but maritime artefacts did not yet exist. He said that now that we have discovered these 15 sites, we are compliant to have UNESCO-recognized maritime sites.
Noel Zammit, Chief Executive of Heritage Malta said that the diversity of these new sites was putting Malta on the international map of divers and increasing the collection of sites.
Mario Cutajar, Executive Director of Heritage Malta said that HM was increasing its national heritage and the heritage it was researching, conserving and making accessible creating awareness and strengthening our national identity. Heritage Malta would remain committed to continuity, giving a future to our past.