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16 September 2004

The secrets of Australian and Asian shipwrecks — how they are discovered, retrieved and protected - will be revealed in a free public forum at the National Museum of Australia this Sunday.

The forum marks the last fortnight of the Museum's special exhibition Lost for 500 Years ... Sunken Treasures of Brunei Darussalam, tracing the ambitious archaeological expedition to excavate a cargo of precious Asian ceramics lost in the South China Sea. Sunken Treasures closes on 4 October.

WHAT: Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasures forum

WHEN: 2 - 3.30pm, Sunday 19 September 2004

WHERE: Studio, National Museum of Australia

Internationally known underwater archaeologist Dr Jeremy Green, who has worked on the Batavia and other shipwrecks along the WA coast, throughout Asia and the Mediterranean, will discuss Australia's world reputation for marine archaeology and protection.

Sunken Treasures curator Dick Richards, former curator of Asian Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia, will share the stories embodied in the exhibition's ancient ceramics and the diverse trade routes they reveal.

'Everyone dreams at one time or another of discovering buried treasure but here is an example of a dream realised on a scale not previously imagined,' says Dick Richards.

Australian diver Norman Hoare will also share his 20 year career as a commercial diver and the experience of working with archaeologists on the Brunei expedition: 'the best job I've ever been on.'

Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasures will be moderated by Dr Janine Young of the ACT chapter of Australian Science Communicators, many of who will be attending the forum.

Media and the public are welcome to attend the free forum.

For interviews and more information please contact public affairs director Martin Portus on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or

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