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On Thursday, February 9, the City of St. Augustine will host officials from Spain to begin a dialogue in the field of underwater archaeology and to recognize the importance of establishing the International Hub for Underwater Preservation (the Hub), an initiative that will serve to promote and protect maritime heritage between the United States and Spain.
The Deputy Director of the General Directorate of Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture of Spain, Maria Agundez Leria, will lead the delegation from Spain, along with Paloma Sanchez Gomez, Head of Service for the Unesco Conventions of Underwater Cultural Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage, and Carlos Leon Amores, Consultant in history, archeology and museography for the Ministry of Culture of Spain, and Francisco S. Guitard, President, Instituto Nauta.
Community stakeholders, both private and public, who are participating in the meeting include the City of St. Augustine, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum and the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP), the Fountain of Youth, Flagler College, the Mission Nombre de Dios, SEARCH, Inc., and the Nauta Institute.
The Hub will seek to create awareness and sensitivity towards the archaeological remains that rest on the American and Mediterranean coasts, to teach academically how to protect and disseminate the rich underwater heritage that exists, and to offer a space for the exchange of knowledge in the field of underwater archeology research that promotes a better understanding among archaeological researchers. It will also serve as a forum for diplomatic exchange for the public institutions of the countries that comprise it.
The Spanish delegation will continue its itinerary with a visit to the Department of State in Tallahassee on Friday, followed by a day in Pensacola, FL, with the research team that has led the studies on the remains of the expedition of Tristan de Luna, founder of the City of Pensacola.