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Hannibal fights to save ship.

Byline: SUE CASTLE

WELSH star Sir Anthony Hopkins has thrown his weight behind a campaign to preserve a medieval ship found in Newport.

The Oscar-winning actor, now based in California, is fascinated by maritime history.

And he has written to the academic at the centre of the campaign to preserve the remains of the vessel.

In his letter Sir Anthony said: "Dating back to 1465, it is clearly a unique piece of medieval history and holds both international and local significance.

"For this reason, I lend my support to this vital preservation endeavour."

He sent the letter to Dr Ray Howell, senior lecturer in history and medieval archaeology at the University of Wales College in Newport.

Dr Howell, who is also honorary education officer for Wales, said: "It is particularly gratifying that Sir Anthony should take an active interest in this important discovery.

"Preservation of the Newport ship will provide a marvellous resource for the city and the rest of south Wales."

The 80ft ship, which was discovered during building work, initially looked doomed when the local council could not pay for it to be preserved.

But after protests the Assembly stepped in with a pledge of pounds 3.5million.

Charles Ferris, of the Save Our Ship campaign, said he was delighted the actor had pledged his support.

CAPTION(S):

LETTER: Sir Anthony
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 3, 2002
Words:223
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