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"British cannons and anchors dredged up in Genoa

Centuries-old British anchors and cannons emerge from the mud of Genoa harbour, Italy, during routine dredging operation

By Nick Squires in Rome 28 May 2015
A rare haul of British naval cannons and anchors has been discovered in Genoa harbour during a dredging operation. One of the anchors is the largest ever found in Italian waters – a giant that is more than 15ft long and weighs four tonnes.The four other cannons that were found date to the 17th century and each weigh around a tonne. Also found was a rare bronze cannon, believed to have been produced in Venice in the 16th century, and estimated to be worth around £200,000, as well as a huge grenade, about the size of a football. Experts said the explosive probably dated back to an attack on Genoa by a French fleet during the reign of Louis XIV, who ruled from 1638 until 1715. All the items were found during a routine dredging operation in Calata Bettolo, part of Genoa’s sprawling container port. Experts are trying to work out how they ended up at the bottom of the harbour – whether during naval battles or storms or perhaps after being dumped deliberately. “The oldest anchor dates to the end of the 17th century and was probably produced locally, while the biggest, which measures five metres in length and weighs four tonnes, is British and from the 18th century,” Fabrizio Ciacchella, a naval historian, told Il Secolo XIX, an Italian newspaper. “It’s the biggest ever recovered in Italian waters.” The anchors and cannons will be cleaned by experts and then put on display at Genoa’s Maritime Museum and Palazzo di San Giorgio, a 13th century fortified palace where Marco Polo was once imprisoned after being captured during one of Genoa’s periodic sea battles with Venice. “They are testimony to the history of the port and the city of Genoa,” said Alessandra Cabella, a cultural heritage official, adding that the items were in an excellent state of preservation. The dredging operation had “returned to Genoa pieces of its history”, said Luigi Merlo, the president of the port authority. Genoa established itself as a major trading power from the 13th century onwards, sending its ships throughout the Mediterranean and taking control of Corsica. During the crusades, Genoa adopted the St George’s Cross flag and chose St George as its patron saint – symbols later adopted by the English in the 13th century".







Fonte: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/11636137/British-cannons-and-anchors-dredged-up-in-Genoa.html?fb_ref=Default

Edited by Corto Maltese
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