The Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, has advanced in Murcia that his department will analyse this Thursday with experts the possibility of extracting at the beginning of 2023 the Phoenician wreck ‘Mazarrón II’, the most complete ancient ship found so far, in order to proceed with its restoration.
Iceta made these statements at the headquarters of the Government Delegation in the Region of Murcia, minutes before participating in a round table with representatives of the cultural sector to present them with the Statute of the Artist, in the drafting of which several ministries have participated.
The representative of the central government indicated that the situation of the wreck, located in 1994 on the beach of La Isla, in the Murcian municipality of Mazarrón, is “a little delicate” and “cannot be prolonged over time”.
“The experts are telling us that we will be in a position to refloat it at the beginning of 2023”, said Iceta, after which he indicated that the objective is “to do it in the best conditions and with the best guarantees”, as it is not a “simple” job.
The minister said that, precisely because of the complexity involved in the action, the International Meeting of Experts on the extraction and conservation of the ship ‘Mazarrón II’ has been organised this Thursday, which is sponsored by Unesco, and in which he will participate.
Recovering this ship, which is 2,600 years old, would mean, in Iceta’s words, adding “another medal to the long list of successes” of Spain, which in the field of underwater archaeology has a “world reference” such as the ARQVA museum in Cartagena.
In this connection, he stressed that the Director-General of Unesco congratulated him personally when, during a meeting in Rome (Italy) shortly after he was appointed Minister, she thanked him for the State’s commitment and the “great progress” made in this field.
“Spain is setting the pace, which raises the level of demand; that is why we want to be very sure of the steps that are being taken and of our capacity afterwards to conserve the wrecks that are recovered,” Iceta said.
It is worth remembering that in March 2021, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, then chaired by José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, gave the go-ahead for the extraction, conservation, restoration, dissemination and exhibition of the ‘Mazarrón II’ and its subsequent treatment in the ARQVA, which already houses the ‘Mazarrón I’, restored in 1993.