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Thursday, October 04, 2007

San Diego Maritime Museum to Build San Salvador

SAN DIEGO - In 1542, the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay aboard the square-rigged sailing galleon San Salvador. Now, more than 450 years later, plans are under way to build a 100-foot replica of the ship that enabled Cabrillo to become the first European to sail along the West Coast and to set foot on the land that eventually became San Diego.

"She's long been an iconic symbol of our city," said Ray Ashley, executive director of the San Diego Maritime Museum. "She embodies the act of discovery; the process of exploration. That's why she continues to be such a powerful image."

The museum's effort to build San Salvador recently got a sizable boost with a $2 million grant from the California Coastal Conservancy, which approved the museum's grant-and-loan request. The total project is expected to cost $5 million, to be raised through additional grants, major donors and fundraising campaigns.

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