'Don't let Newport's Medieval Ship leave city' - plea
CALLS were made yesterday for the potential of the Newport Medieval Ship to be realised amid concerns there was a lack of cultural vision in the city.
Comments from city and regional politicians follow a report, obtained by the Argus, that said a museum to display the ship won’t become a reality in the foreseeable future, with Newport council priorities elsewhere.
Newport council says it is in talks with the Welsh Government about the future of the ship and its storage.
William Graham, a South Wales East Tory AM who is based in Newport, said: “When you consider the interest the discovery of the body of Richard III generated for Leicester, Newport council is failing to realise the potential of the ship, which is an icon.”
He called the ship the “finest medieval maritime find in northern Europe”.
Labour councillor Miqdad Al-Nuaimi, for Stow Hill, said a “lack of vision is depriving Newport of its wonderfully rich cultural and now maritime heritage”.
Cllr Al-Nuaimi told the Argus: “I think there’s a lack of vision because of the financial constraints. I am concerned that there doesn’t seem to be a plan to deal with the ship’s restoration and display in the long term.”
He said he has spoken to the cabinet member for leisure and culture, Debbie Wilcox, about the ship.
Lindsay Whittle, South Wales East Plaid AM, said the Welsh Government needs to be heavily involved in a solution to secure the ship’s future, given its international significance.
He said: “Times are difficult economically but it would be wrong just to let this ship lie in storage.”
Allan Morris, Labour councillor for Lliswerry, said in severe economic times the council had to be realistic about what it could do.
“The ship is a huge part of our city’s history, and something that should be preserved,” he said.
“I’m sure when resources pick up it will be a priority.”
Cllr Matthew Evans, Tory leader, said he is very concerned that if the ship were moved it would be forgotten.