Experts take legal advice in effort to block lucrative deal on underwater excavation of HMS VictoryThe Ministry of Defence is facing a legal battle and parliamentary questions after letting a US company excavate a British 18th-century warship laden with a potentially lucrative cargo.Lord Renfrew is among leading archaeologists condemning a deal struck over HMS Victory, considered the world's mightiest ship when she sank in the Channel in 1744.In return for excavating the vessel's historic remains, which may include gold and silver worth many millions of pounds, Odyssey Marine Exploration is entitled to receive "a percentage of the recovered artefacts' fair value" or "artefacts in lieu of cash".Lord Renfrew, a Cambridge academic, said: "That is against the Unesco convention, in particular against the annexe, which states that underwater cultural heritage may not be sold off or exploited for commercial gain. Odyssey is a commercial salvager. It's not clear that payment could...
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