'Trafalgar' ship's cannon turns up in garden

20th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

MADRID, Oct 20 (AFP) - A cannon believed to have come from one of the Spanish ships which fought at the Battle of Trafalgar 200 years ago has been discovered near the southern city of Huelva doing duty as a garden ornament, local authorities said Thursday.

MADRID, Oct 20 (AFP) - A cannon believed to have come from one of the Spanish ships which fought at the Battle of Trafalgar 200 years ago has been discovered near the southern city of Huelva doing duty as a garden ornament, local authorities said Thursday.

The 18-pound (nine kilogram) cannon came to the notice of the authorities just as the navies of Spain, Britain and France prepare to mark the bicentenary of the battle on Friday with a wreath-laying ceremony off Cape Trafalgar.

A police spokesman told AFP a resident of the small town of Mazagon, just east of Huelva, found the small cannon on the beach and took it home not realising the significance of his find, which police are now investigating with Huelva University specialists.

The gun likely came either from the Rayo or the Monarca, both of which sank in a violent storm that whipped up off the coast in the area in the four days following the October 21, 1805 battle, where the British fleet commanded by Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated a joint Franco-Spanish force.

Police spokesman Antonio Carillo said the man who found the gun had agreed to hand it over to the authorities for detailed study, although it remained in his garden Thursday afternoon.

Another cannon dating from the battle was lifted from the sea off the southeastern port of Cadiz last July.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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