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WA Museum given Dutch shipwreck collection

A new exhibition of artefacts from four 17th and 18th century Dutch East India Company ships wrecked off the Western Australian coast has been opened at the Western Australian Museum - Shipwreck Galleries, Fremantle.

The collection, which was given to Australia by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, includes cannon and cannon balls, lead ingots, pottery, elephant tusks, amber and pitch, as well as rare objects owned by crew and passengers, including navigational instruments and ornaments.

Following the discovery of the wreck sites of the Batavia, Vergulde Draeck, Zuytdorp and theZeewijkin the 1960s, a bilateral agreement between the Netherlands and Australia was signed in The Hague in 1972 placing collections from the ships in both countries.

WA Premier Colin Barnett officially accept the collection from the Netherlands Ambassador at a recent ceremony in the Western Australian Museum - Shipwrecks' Batavia Gallery.

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