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Maritime Museum opens on March 4

Newly established one and only Marine Archaeological Museum in Galle built under a special grant of Rs. 177 million by the Netherlands Government will be opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 4.

Cultural Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Kingdom of the Netherlands Sri Lanka Ambassador Leoni M Cuelenaere would grace the occasion.

Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Ministry Media Consultant Nihal P. Jayatunge yesterday said that the Marine Archeological Museum previously established in Galle was completely destroyed due to Tsunami tidal waves on December 26, 2004. He said that the present museum is being established after renovating a massive old building constructed during the Dutch era situated within the historic Rampart of Galle.

He said that the museum 40-000 square feet in extent would display marine artifacts discovered in explorations made in the ocean floor around Sri Lanka. Nearly 200 artifacts discovered from the remains of ship sunk in the ocean nearly 800 ago are housed in the museum.

Museum’s Officer-in-charge Gamini Dodangala told The Island yesterday they selected 918 schools in the Southern Province to conduct education programmes, apart from a monthly lecture.

He said plans are afoot to open all seven days of the week and on some days to stay open till 9.00 p.m. to feel surrounding of the Fort.

He said that the maritime heritage is a very important part of the national heritage of any country which has coast line. He said despite Sri Lanka’s coastline is a vast area only a small portion of it has been explored.

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