From The Pipeline
“Odyssey Marine Exploration has been conducting a deep -ocean archaeological project in the Eastern Mediterranean under contract. The project has been conducted legally and Odyssey has not conducted any operations in Cypriot waters.
Any statements to the contrary are false. The shipwreck on which the company has been conducting an archaeological operation appears to be a cargo vessel dating to the early to mid-17th century (1600-1650) with a primary cargo of agricultural goods, porcelain, glazed pottery and other trade cargo.
The site is not identifiable by name nor country of origin. The project design anticipates full publication of the results of the operation and exhibit of the recovered artifacts.
We understand the actions taken by the local authorities were based on a false report. Odyssey is fully cooperating and the company is confident the authorities will quickly confirm that Odyssey was neither working in Cypriot waters nor recovering ancient artefacts.
On this project, Odyssey is subject to a non-disclosure agreement under the contract and cannot provide further details.”
Cypriot Police spokesperson Andreas Angelides tell the Cyprus Mail ancient artefacts seized from the Odyssey Marine Exploration vessel Odyssey Explorer are not unique to Cyprus. However Mr Angelides confirmed the origin of the objects was still under investigation as was whether they were on board Odyssey Explorer legally.
“We continue investigations. If the artefacts are not Cypriot and if it is proven they were not found within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the Republic is obliged to protect antiquities under a number of treaties, and procedures will be followed depending on the findings,”
Mr Angelides added “The items have been transferred to a storage facility at the customs office where they will be guarded until investigations are completed.”
Confirming that lawyers for parties with an interest in the case were monitoring the investigation Mr Angelides concluded.
“What we need to stress is that the matter is being carefully handled.” Mr Angelides comments suggest that the material seized does not include the distinctive Cypriot ceramics of the kind that could have been aboard the bark Napreid when she sank in 1872.