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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 April, 2003, 08:04 GMT 09:04 UK
Final fears for ship rescue
medieval ship
The ship's stern is still on site

Campaigners fighting to save a 15th century ship are worried her stern could soon be buried under the concrete foundations of the new Newport arts centre.

Newport City Council decided not to raise the stern after hearing it was too dangerous to lift. Work on the centre will now continue.

The council said experts from the Mary Rose Trust had given advice that the stern should not be lifted, because of the danger to archaelogists and the risk of damage.

Fears were expressed that a Victorian dock wall could collapse, and that workers would have to cope with high tides and great depths.

But the ship's supporters have been determined to fight on.

Charles Ferris, of the Save Our Ship campaign, has been keeping a vigil at the site and said saving just part of the vessel was not enough.

'Mona Lisa'

"There is not another 15th century ship in the world," he said.

"We have been told we have to be content with 95% of it, but to me that's like buying the Mona Lisa with the smile wiped off it."

Even though the main timbers of the ship have been recovered Mr Ferris feels the stern should be lifted as well, claiming it is a vital part of the reconstruction.

This unique vessel was discovered by chance last summer on the banks of the River Usk, during the construction of the new arts centre.

Following a campaign to save it, the Welsh Assembly and Newport council gave 3.5m so that it could be preserved and put on display.

The Mary Rose Trust took over the excavation from the Gwent and Glamorgan Archaeological Trust (G-GAT) at the beginning of April 2002 following a dispute over payments with Newport council.

Mary Rose experts to raise ship
04 Apr 03  |  Wales
Ship dig bill 'threat to trust'
10 Mar 03  |  Wales
Medieval ship parts 'destroyed'
03 Oct 02  |  Wales
Gusts delay ship's excavation
07 Nov 02  |  Wales

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