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PM allows Binh Thuan to raise ancient shipwreck

HA NOI — Prime Minister Phan Van Khai has approved the salvage and recovery of an ancient shipwreck off the coast of Tuy Phong District, in the southern central province of Binh Thuan.

The 20m long and 5m wide wreckage, with its cargo intact, was discovered resting on the seabed 40m below the surface.

The province will co-operate with the central Ship Salvage Enterprise to salvage the wreck.

The State will assume ownership rights over the wreck, and all unique and ancient objects found on board.

Some of the objects will be auctioned, with the State taking 30 per cent of profits. The rest will be divided between the province and the salvagers.

Provincial authorities say that the wreck contains some 50,000 ancient objects including large plates, bowls and various vessels that could date back to the 16th century, with a value estimated at VND75 billion (US$5 million).

Antiques experts acknowledge that the find is unique and unusually well preserved.

Local border guards have so far retrieved nearly 1,000 artefacts from local fishermen, who illegally plundered the wreckage for items to sell.

It is expected that the salvage will be carried out by the end of this month.

Reprinted with permission from VietNam News Agency.


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