UN team in Madagascar to probe claim of pirate Kidd's treasure

2015-06-19 15:22

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Antananarivo - A UN research team arrived in Madagascar on Friday to determine the origin of a silver bar attributed to 17th-century Scottish pirate William Kidd, but whose authenticity has been put in doubt.

The 45km bar was brought to shore on the island of Sainte Marie in May from what the explorers claimed to be the wreck of Kidd's flagship Adventure Galley.

But marine archaeologist Michel L'Hour, who heads the Unesco team visiting the island, expressed doubts about the authenticity of the discovery.

"How can you bring out of the water an ingot whose characteristics are not really known, carrying inscriptions which it has not yet been possible to interpret ... saying 'I have found the treasure of captain Kidd'," he asked.

The Unesco team was to examine the ingot and other objects found in the wreck on the invitation of the Madagascar government.

The Adventure Galley amassed a fortune in gold, silk and jewels from 1696 until it sank in 1698. Kidd - who had initially been hired by Britain to tackle piracy, but turned pirate himself - was hanged in 1701.

Read more on:    unesco  |  madagascar  |  southern africa

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