Salvaging of Historic Ship May Require Help

The mystery ship that was discovered in waters off Koh Kong pro­vince’s Koh Sdech island in Febru­ary could take between six months and two years to raise from the sea floor, officials said Monday.

Chuch Phoeung, secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture, said Cam­­­bodia may need help to salvage the ship, which police say is be­­ing watched day and night.

“It is not easy to take up,” Chuch Phoeun said. “With this kind of job, Cam­­bodia might need the help of the US’ National Geo­gra­phic So­ciety.”

A committee formed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, in response to the ship’s discovery, will meet today or Wednesday in Koh Kong, he said, adding that any order to sal­vage the ship will come from Hun Sen himself.

At the National Museum in Phnom Penh on Monday, staff mem­bers displayed eight objects retrieved from the ship earlier this month. Two stone bowls had lattice en­gravings typical of the 14th Cen­tury, librarian Hor Kosal said. A tea pot, wine jug and water vessel ap­pear to be pre-Angkorian and to come from what is now Southern Viet­­nam, he added.

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Country Rep­­re­­­sentative Teruo Jinnai said he had not yet heard of the discovery.

“That is great news…. Unesco is not involved with that but if we are requested to help on technical matters or legal matters we will offer help,” he said.

 

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