New Delhi: The Ministry of Navigation said today in a press release that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (Memorandum of Understanding) will facilitate the development of a national first-class maritime heritage complex in Lothal, Gujarat, with the cooperation of the Republic of Portugal. Lothal was chosen because it has many archaeological remains and was a center of maritime activity during the Harappan era. Prime Minister Modi visited Portugal in June 2017, during which 11 agreements covered a wide range of fields were signed, including space, double taxation prevention, nanotechnology, biotechnology and higher education. The investigation into sinking ships could also fill gaps in India`s maritime history and trade relations with other countries. According to the researchers, some shipwrecks are of major historical importance. The East India Company`s Dart Mouth, for example, bore treasures when it was allegedly sunk in front of Masulipatnam in 1719. Governor Keating, who was wearing king`s Stores, sank in a storm in 1812 near Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. Some Indian ships are also found in foreign waters, such as P-O Liner Indus, which bore the Buddhist sculptures of Bharhut Stupa and known for sinking on the seabed of Sri Lankan waters in 1882. This particular moU was signed by MoS Shipping Mandaviya Mandaviya, who is also a member of Rajya Sabha of Gujarat and Secretary of State for Defense, Portugal`s Jorge Seguro Sanches. In March 2019, the Indian government granted a grant for the construction of the Maritime Museum and laid the groundwork for the project by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In April 2019, during the visit of the Portuguese Minister of Defence, Joo Gomes Cravinho, to India, preliminary discussions took place between India and Portugal on the development of the Museum of the Sea.

In March last year, the PM laid the foundations for the museum, which is also known as the Lothal Maritime Heritage Complex. Experts have called for closer cooperation between marine archaeologists in India. “I would like to see a collaboration between marine archaeologists based at NIO and those of NIOT in Chennai and the Department of Marine Archaeology at the Tamil University of Thanjavur. The artifacts collected in Dwarka, Poompuhar-Kaveripattinam, Mahabalipuram, Tranquebar, Lakshadweep, Konark and in the Goa waters are at NIO, but few of them are exposed as stone anchors due to lack of facilities and conservation conditions,” Korisettar told India Science Wire. Underwater archaeology is a specialized branch of archaeology that consists of restoring submerged remains such as ports, shipwrecks and the study of the assistant archives of maritime activities from archaeological excavations, archives and historical archives. According to Unesco, an estimated three million unded shipwrecks are at the bottom of the sea. One of the soft signs is the collaboration for the creation of a national complex of the Maritime Heritage Museum in Lothal (Gujarat) between the Portuguese Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Navigation of India. Among the Destroyed Portuguese ships was S. Cristovam, who was hit by a storm on August 17, 1594. nau Santo André, which capsized off the coast of Goa in May 1608; Nossa Sra Dos and Remedios were hit by a violent storm and sank on January 28, 1616. 12 other Portuguese ships from Goa to Calcutta were submerged near Aguada Bay in 1648.

Patel, along with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, is scheduled to inaugurate a two-day conference on people`s participation in the management of tourist destinations in Kutch`s Rann on Thursday, said the press release. “In addition, ship repair and maintenance, as well as ship recycling and breakage, are other undertakings that can be explored,” he added.