The conference ‘’Conservation and restoration in underwater archaeology: experiences, methods and new discoveries’’ is organised by the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar (ICUA) in partnership with the University of Zadar.
ICUA is an independent public institution founded in 2007 in the frame of the Croatian Conservation Institute. In January of 2009 ICUA became a separate legal entity and the same year gained the status of a UNESCO category II centre pursuant to an international agreement signed between the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the Republic of Croatia. 2016 saw the renewal of the international agreement between Croatia and UNESCO for the coming six-year period.
The main purpose of ICUA is to carry out educational activities in field of exploration, conservation and restoration of the underwater cultural heritage. Through its activity ICUA is also a strong proponent of the ratification and implementation of the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. ICUA works in accordance with the principles laid out in the Convention and its annex and contributes to expanding opportunities in other European and Mediterranean countries. Through its work in developing and disseminating the latest methods of investigation in underwater archaeology, conservation and restoration, training and the exchange of knowledge, ICUA has become an important focal point for these activities in this part of Europe.
ICUA also acts as promoter and organiser of regional/international workshops, conferences and symposiums on underwater archaeology and cultural heritage. The Government of the Republic of Croatia (Ministry of Culture) provides the necessary funds for the running costs of the Centre, while the funds for accomplishing particular programmes are raised through different sources, including international cooperation.
ICUA is a member of the UNESCO UNITWIN Network for Underwater Archaeology.
The University of Zadar
Zadar has a centuries-old university tradition, the longest in Croatia: following the tradition of ecclesiastical education, first mentioned in the 10th century, a Dominican higher education institution Studium generale, later known as the Universitas Iadertina, was founded as early as 14 June 1396. The town of Zadar was not chosen as a university centre by chance: at the time, it flourished as the most important naval point in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where the seats of governmental institutions were situated, including the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Ban and the Hungarian-Croatian War Navy. From 1396 to 1553 (with the interruption from 1481 to 1495 due to the Ottoman invasion) Zadar’s Studium generale was the first university consisting of two faculties, the lower and higher level studies of Philosophy and Theology.
The modern development of higher education in Zadar started in 1955 with passing of the Act on Founding the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar. The lectures at the newly founded Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar, a division of the University of Zagreb, started in 1956. In 1974, the Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar was affiliated to the University of Split. In 1961, the Pedagogical Academy was also founded (in 1979 it was incorporated into the Faculty of Philosophy), and in 1988 the Teacher Training College was separated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar. The Teacher Training College, together with the faculty of Philosophy, made the basis of the University of Zadar that the Croatian Parliament founded in 2002, or more precisely renewed regarding its 14th century higher education tradition. In 2003, when the formal work of the University of Zadar commenced, 607 years of continuous higher education had passed since the time of the founders: Raimun de Vineis from Capua, the Master of the Dominican Order, and Reverend John of Dyrrachium, the Rector.
In 2002, 46 years after the beginning of its work in 1956, the Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar comprised 16 divisions and 17 different study groups, 6 postgraduate studies, part-time and complementary study programmes with 3400 students, 240 employees, out of which 180 teaching staff and associates (including 60 external associates and foreign lecturers).
Today, the University of Zadar is the largest integrated University in the Republic of Croatia, which includes 25 university departments. The University of Zadar cooperates with numerous Croatian and foreign institutions and academic associations, through membership in international organisations and communities, and through cooperative contracts with other universities.