QUANG NGAI – Local authorities in Quang Ngai have urged its Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to excavate a recently discovered shipwreck as soon as possible, as scavengers continue to salvage from the site.
The wreckage was found twelve days ago in the coastal area of Binh Son District's Chau Thuan Commune. It has been dated back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest findings discovered in the country according to Nguyen Dinh Chien, the deputy director of the Viet Nam National Museum of History.
A number of decorative bowls, incense burners and ceramics were found in the sunken vessel. After examining the objects, local archaeologists concluded they were produced in 14th century.
About 13 organisations and four individuals have applied to the provincial department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to excavate.
Meanwhile, over the past few days dozens of boats have flocked to the area in an effort to illegally hunt antiques. Local reports claim that some people have successfully sold their salvaged items at tens of millions dong (thousands of US dollars) each.
To protect the antiques from being stolen, Binh Son District's People's Committee have warned local fishermen that anyone caught salvaging from the shipwreck will face heavy punishment.
Phan Dinh Tri, an official of the provincial people's committee, has said the committee plan to set up a managing board to oversee the excavation work and collect the remaining valuables, but this is still in its early stages.
Tri said local police and authorities are now trying their best to keep the area clear of illegal activity. – VNS