Haiti creates commission to monitor possible Santa Maria wreck
|A replica of Christopher Columbus' caravel Santa Maria is shown in this circa 1892 photo |
provided by the United States Library of Congress on May 13, 2014
[Credit: Reuters/U.S. Library of Congress]
Lamothe said the commission would be composed of experts from the United Nation's cultural arm, UNESCO, the ministries of culture and tourism, specialists from the Haitian National Pantheon Museum (MUPANAH), as well as Clifford.
"I am confident that a full excavation of the wreck will yield the first-ever detailed marine archaeological evidence of Columbus's discovery of America," Clifford told a press conference in New York two weeks ago.
The wreck was discovered in about 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) of water near a reef, and matches the length of the Santa Maria's 115-foot (35-meter) keel, according to the exploration team.
|Marine investigator Barry Clifford speaks during a news conference at the Explorers|
Club in New York May 14, 2014 [Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid]
The Santa Maria was one of a fleet of three vessels that left Spain in 1492 to look for a shorter route to Asia. The ship, after arriving near the Bahamas, drifted onto a reef on Christmas Day and had to be abandoned.
The MUPANAH, located in the center of Port-au-Prince, has for many years exhibited as its main attraction what is believed to be one of the anchors of the Santa Maria, recovered more than 300 years ago in good condition.
Clifford is hoping for official backing of his recovery effort a few miles offshore, including protection of the wreck site from looters, arguing that it could provide a boost to Haiti's struggling tourism industry.
Clifford has said he would like the ship to stay in Haiti as part of a permanent exhibition to help the country's struggling tourism industry.
Author: Amelie Baron | Source: Reuters [May 28, 2014]
Labels Americas, ArchaeoHeritage, Archaeology, Breakingnews, Caribbean islands, Central America, Heritage, More Stuff, Underwater Archaeology