Friday, 29 February 2008 8:20 AM

Traces of La P'erouse Found in Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands houses many historical monuments and wreckages. Not known to many outsiders is a wreck site found outside of Vanikoro in Temotu Province that.

The wreck site has been identified as a ship belonging to French explorer Jean-François de la Pérouse, who disappeared in the Pacific archipelago more than 200 years ago.

In April of last year, the Solomon Islands Association launched an expedition to retrace the path of the explorer's final voyage in 1788. At Vanikoro, in the Eastern part of the Solomon Islands, traces of La Pérouse's wreck were found including many stories of the survivors from the natives. One of the many tales includes one which said that some of the survivors built a two-masted craft on which they set sail to an unknown destination.

The Association, consisting of Solomon Islanders working in close collaboration with French researchers, will carry out their final land and sea research work sometimes between April and June this year.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Solomon Islands Museum, Mr. Lawrence Foana'ota told Solomon Times that a top Government delegation will attend the opening of the La P'erouse expedition in France, on March the 18th 2008.

The delegation includes the Honorable Minister for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Seth Gukuna, the Director of the National museum, the Honorable Premier of Temotu Province and the Chairman and Secretary of Banie association, representing the Vanikoro people. The team will leave for France on March the 15th.

Mr. Foana'ota said that the guest of honor for the day will be the President of France, signifying the importance the French Government attaches to the La P'erouse expedition.