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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sunken Treasure Exhibit

The Brunei Museum located at Jalan Kota Batu is set to reopen its doors to the public tomorrow after undergoing four months of renovation.

The highlight of the newly renovated museum is the Sunken Treasure Gallery, which has hundreds of artifacts from a sunken ship. The gallery also has a state-of-the art interactive exhibition, where visitors can take a closer look at a diver's helmet and watch video clips of the excavation of the sunken treasures.

The sunken treasures were discovered by a French oil company when the remains of an unidentified shipwreck loaded with valuable stoneware and porcelains were found under 63 meters of waters.

Approximately 15,000 artifacts from late 15" and early 16"' century porcelains, earthenware, gongs, cannons and ivory were among those recovered from the wreck.

The first exhibition of the sunken ship was held at the lobby of the Brunei Museums. It was officially launched by the former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and sponsored by TOTAL in 1999.

This was followed by an international exhibition from September 2001 to March 2002, on the banks of River Seine. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Brunei and Australia in 2003, an exhibition on the "Sunken Treasures of Brunei Darussalam" was held in Australia from December 16, 2003 until the end of 2004. During this period, the exhibition was held at the National Maritime Museum, Sydney, the National Museum Canberra and New Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Western Australia.

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