A PHOENICIAN ship that sank off the Murcian coast will see the light of day again after some 2,700 years.

The wreck of the Mazarrón II has been protected from the elements by a steel dome for decades, but movement of the seabed has dislodged it, meaning the structure meant to protect it now endangers the remains.

SALVAGE PREPARATION: Work done by ARQUA on the endangered wreck

It’s valuable cargo of litharge lead, a residue from which silver can be obtained, is to be extracted, according to the Ministry of Culture. 

Mazarron Ii 2
IN DANGER: The wreck of the Mazarron II

The ship is sitting in only 2.5 meters of water, about 50 metres off the coast of Mazarrón (Murcia). 

Originally discovered by divers in 1994, the protective steel dome was installed six years later.

However, authorities have now decided to raise the wreck and its cargo in order to conserve, restore and exhibit it at the National Museum of Underwater Archeology (Arqva) in nearby Cartagena.

International conferences are planned in order to pool various experts’ intelligence regarding the best method of extraction.

A multidisciplinary team involving UNESCO will be formed, with restoration work carried out in the Arqua laboratory.

Ideas had been mooted as recently as 2019 that would involve restoring the wreck in situ, but was abandoned in favour of a full extraction when the right people and finance were available.

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