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Greece allows diving to wrecks

Countless wrecks with artifacts from ancient times lie at the bottom of the sea in the Aegean. For fear of theft, only experts were previously allowed to visit the sites – now amateur divers will be allowed to visit at three places.

Three places off the Greek coast where sunken ships from ancient times lie on the seabed are to be made accessible to holidaymakers. As the Greek Ministry of Culture announced, amateur divers are now also allowed to visit the sites.

Licensed crews from local boats are supposed to take those interested to the wrecks and observe them during the dive. The ships with artifacts from antiquity and the Roman and Byzantine periods lie in the gulf off the central Greek city of Volos (Pagasitic Gulf).

Coast Guard monitors sites

There are countless ancient wrecks on the seabed in the Aegean Sea. Until now, only archaeologists and experts were allowed to visit after obtaining permission. The fear that artifacts such as amphorae would be stolen was too great.

The Coast Guard is monitoring the sites. Unauthorized diving at the sites where the wrecks lie can lead to arrests and legal proceedings. The diving permit is now being granted after a pilot visit project under supervision near the island of Alonissos has been running without any problems since 2019, the Ministry of Culture said.

Diving tourism is a lucrative business, for example an underwater archaeological park opened in Malta last year.

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