TIRANA, January 22
An initiative launched by the Durres Port Authority aims at creating a national maritime museum and two underwater marine parks for scuba diving enthusiasts.
According to the Port Authority, 11 ships sunk in Durres maritime area during WWI and WWII and a total of 60 shipwrecks are located along the Albanian coastline.
The initiative is a measure to protect underwater heritage and to pave the way to the creation of a museum and underwater parks to preserve what remains from the wrecks.
Naval forces proposed the former Navy School in Vlora as the most suitable site for the National Marine Museum. Meanwhile, authorities are mulling over the creation of the two underwater parks in the area of Karaburun and Radhima in Vlora and near Bisht Palla in Durres.
According to an article published by AFP in November 2018, Albania’s coastline has become a magnet for treasure hunters looking for sunken relics. Not only artifacts, but looters go also after valuable steel by using dynamite.
“Steel produced before any nuclear explosions happened in the world is especially lucrative, as it lacks any trace of radioactivity and can be used for sensitive medical devices and other scientific equipment,” the article pointed out.
Researcher and Professor Ilir Capuni helped discover a Hungarian-Croat steamer, the Pozsony that sunk off the coast of Durres in 1916 after striking a mine.
But four years later, “we found that there was almost nothing left of it,” Capuni was quoted as saying.
Moreover, the data collected by the expedition carried out in 2006 by RPM Nautical Foundation, 40 shipwrecks dating back to the seventh century BC were located along the Albanian coastline.
Photo: Probitas Cargo ship sunk in Saranda Bay in 1943. Credit: Fation Plaku