Alicante’s Archaeological Museum (MARQ) received 53 containers into its charge last Monday which hold over 200 display pieces that will be put together to showcase “The Last Voyage of the frigate Mercedes’, an exhibition that will open its doors in the centre from next Monday 9 March.
Organized by the MARQ, in conjunction with the Spanish Cultural Association, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Defense, exhibits, which have been brought together from over a dozen institutions, recounts the sinking of the frigate Mercedes, with the loss of two hundred and sixty-three people, and the political and military circumstances surrounding this act which took place in October 1804.
Amongst the boxes opened on their arrival were a number holding pieces of armament including a pistol dating back to 1760, a Spanish rifle of the same year and a blunderbuss from the early nineteenth, all courtesy of the Cartagena naval museum.
The travelling exhibition is dedicated to the gold bullion ladened frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, which sank in 1804 and was recovered by the Spanish government after winning a lawsuit brought against the salvage company Odyssey in the US courts.
It explains the circumstances and historical ramifications of the ship’s fatal explosion, focusing on the archaeological aspect of the assets recovered from the wreck and touching upon the Spanish government’s legal battle to retrieve an important part of their national heritage.
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