Hellenistic shipwreck at Styra, Euboea [Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]
Attica is to create a unique 'archaeological' scuba park featuring 26 well-preserved underwater shipwrecks open to visitors in the Gulf of Evia, the Greek Ministry of Culture has announced.
According to the announcement, the high specification diving park will act as an "underwater museum" and will have six visit able sites in the Styra island group, the Kavalliani - Almyropotamos Cove area, the Petalioi islands, Akio Island and Portolafia in Evia, Makronisos and the Lavreo area.
The project is expected to help boost the economy and local communities, the development of tourism and to promote the area's unique underwater monuments, as well as creating new jobs," the announcement said.
A presentation of the planned project was held at the Attica Region's offices, which outlined the work launched by the Underwater Antiquities Ephorate in 2006 to explore and chart the ancient and Byzantine-era shipwrecks located in the seas around Attica and southern Evia, from the island of Kavalliani to Kafirea and Sounio.
They said that a total of 19 underwater archaeological sites with 26 shipwrecks have been created, while the search for more important shipwrecks are continuing.
The project is to be implemented via the signature of a memorandum of cooperation between the Lavrio and Marathon municipalities, with financial and other assistance from the Attica Region.
The acting Greek Minister of Culture said the existence of 26 ancient shipwrecks in the gulf of Evia that were "essentially a museum" was "world-class news," and especially the fact that these could be visited due to the clearness of the waters.