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Mark Staniforth
Mark Staniforth campaign leader

Two historic cannon in the junkyard

From Veronica
Walker-Vadillo - original in Spanish at: 

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Extracts Translation (in
English courtesy of Google Translate):

Vietnam. A few
weeks ago, VietNamNet Bridge reported that on March 25 officials Phan Rang City
in the central province of Ninh Thuan (Vietnam) seized two ancient guns on a
chaterrería. The guns weigh about 700 kilos each have a diameter of 28 to 37cm
and measuring 2.5m long. The owner of the junkyard, Pham Dang Hoa, has told
authorities he bought the guns for scrap value without realizing that they have
an important historical value.

Apparently, a
man of the people offered them for about $ 700, the price of the metal. It is
believed that the guns were drawn from a wreck in the waters of Ninh Thuan, but
still do not know the exact place, or how the guns hoisted from the sea, nor
the origin of the wreck. Le Thi Anh Tuyet, regional museum director Ninh Thuan
said that the guns have numbers, but are difficult to interpret due to
corrosion. The guns have been brought to the museum, which will be studied and

Vietnam is a
country with a coastline of over 3,000 km in length and with a great cultural
diversity with respect to nautical tradition. Its strategic location in the
South China Sea was instrumental in the great commercial and cultural
development of the region since prehistory. Given the intense maritime contacts
that have taken place in the country, it is expected that its underwater
heritage is very rich in both local and foreign wrecks.

A local building
rush, led by a Portuguese, participating in a Spanish expedition to Cambodia,
sunk in Vietnamese waters. It is just one example of how heritage is actually
submerged heritage site: one more reason to advocate for the protection of the
heritage not only in Spanish waters but also outside our country. Vietnam,
which to date has not signed the UNESCO Convention of 2001 for the Protection
of the World Submerged, is struggling to implement underwater archeology
projects. In October 2012 the authorities were attacked by local fishermen when
they tried prospecting sixteenth century wreck in the commune of Binh Chau.
According to the fishermen, "fishing village antiques must be delivered to
the people. The state cannot take them. They are fishermen's fortune. "
This interpretation of archaeological artifacts merchandise is the result of
past examples where private companies have removed historic shipwrecks material
and the material has been sold abroad, without the benefits have come to the
local community. The performances of these companies and illegal trafficking of
antiquities exploit the need, poverty and legal vacuum from developing
countries to capitalize on their benefits.


Fortunately, Vietnam is
taking the first steps to change the commercial vision underwater heritage.
Although it does not seem to be to sign the 2001 Convention, the Vietnamese
government has passed a decree that while focusing on practical suggestions on
how to dig a wreck and gives priority to material recovery, at least it serves
legal reference in the country. Since 2009 it has launched an international
project, the group Battlefield Bach Dang, that aims to train workers students
and local government programs following Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) in
the UK. Are also making great efforts to raise awareness of the need to protect
underwater heritage. The project has the support of the Institute of
Archaeology Vietnam, the Nautical Archaeology Society (United Kingdom) Monash
University (Australia), and Murdoch University (Australia).

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