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Salvage rights for cannon sought

PUBLISHED: 19:40 12 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:05 03 March 2010

A MARINE expert was today claiming £30,000 salvage rights for a cannon discovered from a wreck off the Suffolk coast.

The ancient relic recovered by divers from the 16th or 17th century ship near Dunwich has been at the centre of a long-running dispute over where to display the item.

A MARINE expert was today claiming £30,000 salvage rights for a cannon discovered from a wreck off the Suffolk coast.

The ancient relic recovered by divers from the 16th or 17th century ship near Dunwich has been at the centre of a long-running dispute over where to display the item.

Director Stuart Bacon who recovered the 11-foot bronze object from the sunken wreck in 1994 has written to the Royal Armouries accounts department in London demanding the estimated value of the cannon – which he says is a legal right.

He proudly placed the item on show outside the Suffolk Underwater Studies Unit in Front Street, Orford.

But it was taken by the Royal Armouries in February to be housed in the national artillery collection at Fort Nelson, Portsmouth, until an acceptable home could be found for it.

Mr Bacon told The Star today: "Thousands of East Anglian people have voiced their anger at the removal of the cannon from Orford and I thought this letter was one way of reminding the Royal Armouries that we have not forgotten the gun.

"Salvage rights have not been paid and this is against the law."

The methods employed in taking the cannon have been condemned and even discussed in the House of Lords.

Planning permission has been granted for a museum next to Mr Bacon's craft shop to house the finds from the wreck.

The museum will also give a new home to items currently displayed in the underwater studies unit on the first floor of the shop.

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