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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 20:24 GMT
HMS Victory's sail goes on show
Officers and ratings proudly holding HMS Victory's fore topsail after discovering it in a gymnasium
The battle-scarred sail was rediscovered in a gym
The sail used on Nelson's flagship HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar has gone on public display.

The 3,618 sq ft sail, complete with 200-year-old cannon holes, is on shown from Friday in Portsmouth as part the 200th anniversary of the famous battle.

It was discovered in 1960 in a sail loft at Victory barracks, now HMS Nelson covered by gym mats.

The precious artefact is now kept in environmentally-controlled conditions in the Historic Dockyard.

The sail is battle-scarred and pock-marked by some 90 shot holes, although a few squares were cut out by 19th Century souvenir hunters.

It was manufactured in Chatham in 1803 and remained on HMS Victory until the ship returned for repairs after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1806.

The Duke of Edinburgh toured the city's historic dockyard and officially opened the sail exhibition last week.

Nelson's historic sail unveiled
11 Mar 05 |  Hampshire
Nelson scroll found 50 years on
06 May 04 |  South West Wales


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