17th century shipwreck to be freeze-dried, rebuilt

Associated Press
This 2001 photo provided by Texas A&M University shows the hull of the 17th-century French ship La Belle at the Texas A&M University Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation in Bryan, Texas.  Researchers plan to rebuild the 54 ½-foot vessel, which will become the centerpiece of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. The supply ship was built in 1684 and sank two years later in a storm on Matagorda Bay, about midway between Galveston and Corpus Christi, Texas.  (AP Photo/Texas A&M University)

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The 17th-century French ship La Belle has spent months inside a 40-foot-long, 8-feet-wide freeze dryer being used to remove moisture from the wreckage of the ship. The ship was used famed explorer La Salle, and sank more than 300 years ago off the Texas coast. Researchers plan to rebuild the 54 ½-foot vessel, which will become the centerpiece of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas.

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