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* President opens the first Maritime Archaeology Museum in Sri Lanka
Thu, Mar 4, 2010, 08:26 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 04, Galle: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa today declared open the country's first Maritime Archaeology Museum and the Visitor Information Center at the Old Dutch Warehouse in Galle Fort today.

The Museum newly established by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage in a 40,000 square feet faculty was built under a special grant of Rs.177 million from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The museum will display exhibits of marine artifacts discovered in explorations made in the ocean floor around Sri Lanka.

Artifacts relating to Maritime Archaeology, maps, naval craft and a host of articles including artillery guns, ropes, earthenware, beer mugs, smoking pipes, barrels, shoes used by the sailors, and items recovered from the wreckages of ships sunk in the sea off the Southern coast nearly 800 years ago.

The Museum previously existed before in Galle was completely destroyed by the Tsunami Disaster on 26th December 2004 and the present Museum is being established after renovating a massive old building constructed during the Dutch Era and situated within the historic rampart of Galle, the Ministry announced.

Netherlands Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ms. Leoni Cuelenaere, Commander of Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka, Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Minister Piyasiri Wijenayaka also participated in the event.

(Picture by Chandana Perera)

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