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‘Sunken History’ exhibit to be unveiled on Sept. 8

LaBelle Archaeologists excavate the shipwreck of La Belle in 1996.

Victoria College’s Museum of the Coastal Bend will open its “Sunken History: Shipwrecks of the Gulf” exhibit on Friday, Sept. 8.

“Through shipwreck artifacts and treasures, side-scan sonars and photographs, ‘Sunken History’ shares the exciting story of 400 years of shipwrecks along the U.S. Gulf Coast,” said Elizabeth Neucere, museum exhibits and collections manager.

The temporary exhibit will explore the technology of ships that sailed the Gulf of Mexico from the 1500s through World War II. The exhibit will investigate the causes of shipwrecks, ranging from hostile encounters and hazardous weather to poor ship design.

“Shipwrecks are a compelling part of history of the Gulf Coast,” said Amanda Lanum, education coordinator for the museum. “We are very excited to introduce new hands-on, shipwreck-oriented  activities for 2017-18 school tours that stimulate children’s cognitive processes and decision-making abilities.”

A preview reception for museum members will be held on Thursday, Sept. 7. Immediately following the reception, Brad Jones from the Texas Historical Commission will present “Beyond the Books – The 1554 and La Belle Shipwreck Collections.” The lecture, which is part of the John W. Stormont Lecture Series, will start at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

“Sunken History: Shipwrecks of the Gulf” is funded by the Victoria College Foundation and members of the Museum of the Coastal Bend. Promotions are funded in part through City of Victoria HOT funds. The exhibit is on view through Aug. 11, 2018.

Admission to the Museum of the Coastal Bend is pay-what-you-want. Viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

The Museum of the Coastal Bend is located on Victoria College’s Main Campus at 2200 E. Red River Street.