Jamaica collaborates with Mexico, Japan on study of sunken city of Port Royal

Kingston, 21 October 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said an assessment meeting held today as Jamaica continues its pursuit of World Heritage inscription for the Sunken City of Port Royal was of immense cultural importance.

Minister Grange said: “The sunken city of Port Royal is one of only three such sites in the world.” [The other two sites are located in Alexandria, Greece and in Bahia, Italy.]

“This is a big deal! It will have a tremendous impact on our heritage tourism product for destination Jamaica as we prepare our nomination for UNESCO designation of ‘the Sunken City of Port Royal’ as a World Heritage Site”, she said of the project which is a historic collaboration between Jamaica, Mexico and Japan.

Minister Grange highlighted that it was, “a game changing meeting with underwater experts, Dr. Roberto Junco from Mexico and Professor Kotaro Yamafune, from Japan who led the team in the introduction of Photogrammetry photography of the Sunken City of Port Royal which has never been done before. This new technology will have far reaching implications for our cultural heritage and for Port Royal itself.”

The Heritage Impact Assessment will take place in three phases. The first phase includes the photogrammetry, which is the taking of detailed photographs of the underwater city.

This new technology will be used for monitoring of the site, developing 3-D models and for data analysis which can be used for research and tourism activities, among other things.

Phase two will involve a larger team of underwater archeologists from Japan, Canada, Mexico and the Netherlands. They will elaborate on the analysis provided by the photogrammetry and also carry out further training of the JNHT team.

Phase three will see the preparation of the final report, expected to be presented in April 2022.

Present at today’s meeting were Ambassador of Mexico, Juan José González Mijares; the Ambassador of Japan, Masaya Fujiwara; as well as officers of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.

END

Minister's charge

I remain hopeful because of the giftedness of the Jamaican people; their warmth and creativity; their dynamism and indomitable spirit that have resulted in excellence in all sectors.

It is by tapping into the gifts and awakening the spirit of the Jamaican people that we will, by God’s grace, re-group, re-engineer and re-open to a brighter future with Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Olivia Grange

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