Arturo Rey da Silva


Dr Arturo Rey da Silva is a maritime archaeologist and an international cultural heritage expert with a large experience in the field of international cooperation, capacity-building, and heritage diplomacy. Between 2011 and 2018 he was part of the UNESCO Secretariat for the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, where he worked giving technical assistance to Member States to advance research and capacities in maritime archaeology research and heritage protection, as well as providing guidance for heritage policy development. Since 2018, Arturo has worked with UNESCO Headquarters as well as with several UNESCO Field Offices, notably in Africa, Central Asia, and Latin America, establishing regional capacity-strengthening strategies, outreach initiatives, policy-oriented programmes, and results-based frameworks for the safeguarding of underwater cultural heritage.

In 2021, after undertaken a research fellow position at the Spanish School of History and Archaeology in Rome (2019-2020), he obtained his doctoral degree at the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. His thesis research looked into the institutionalization of underwater archaeology within international cooperation schemes, its contribution to sustainable development and, notably, it analysed the impact of UNESCO’s actions throughout specific case studies in Africa and Latin America. His research interests range from the understanding of local communities’ traditional technical, conceptual and spiritual uses of maritime spaces to the study of heritage conceptualization within maritime groups, its institutionalization through heritage diplomacy processes, and the role played by maritime archaeology in the development of intercultural dialogue, cooperation, and sustainable development policies.

Guest lecturer in several universities (i.e. University of Alexandria in Egypt, the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, the University of Cadiz in Spain, or University Externado in Colombia) since 2016, Arturo was elected Member of the ICOMOS International Committee for Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH) in 2019.


As a Post-Doctoral Research Associate and Honor Frost Scholar in Marine Cultural Heritage at the University of Edinburgh, Arturo will analyze the outputs and outcomes of the Rising from the Depths Network (RftD) projects, measuring the contribution of marine cultural heritage to sustainable development in Eastern Africa as well as examining the importance of challenge-led research in the establishment of academic postulates, management approaches and in concluding with resolutive and adequate policies. His research will also look into bringing the approaches and results from RftD to the work carried out in the framework of the Honor Frost Foundation in the Eastern Mediterranean.