Lost at Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks
A fierce three-headed serpent and a mysterious female deity were among the nearly two dozen 12th-century stone reliefs from Central Vietnam that lay unseen at the bottom of the Arabian Sea for nearly 120 years. Almost 5,000 miles away in the South China Sea, blue-and-white ceramic bowls, plates and jars rested in the hold of a sunken ship off the coast of Vietnam for more than five centuries. Preserved like time capsules under the seas, these shipwrecks contained artworks that were excavated in the 1990s by marine archaeologists, sold at auction, purchased by individual collectors and then donated to the museum.
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