Divers fined for plundering historic shipwrecks

Two divers have been ordered to pay £62,500 in fines and costs after plundering historic wrecks.

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Two divers have been ordered to pay £62,500 in fines and costs after plundering historic wrecks and failing to declare their valuable finds. David Knight, 52, and Edward Huzzey, 56, used explosives, underwater cutting gear and professional lifting equipment to carry off more than £250,000 worth of valuables from nine submerged vessels, some dating back more than 200 years, the Telegraph reports. Over seven years the pair targeted one sunken ship carrying East India Company cargo in 1807, as well as German U-8, UC-64 and UB-40 submarines from the First World War.

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To read the Telegraph article in full, click here.

Bird’s-eye-view of Welsh castles

Videos of some of the most iconic historic sites in Wales as seen from the skies are now available online. The videos were shot by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, using a remote-controlled drone equipped with a high quality camera to re-create a bird’s-eye-view of monuments including Laugharne Castle, Kidwelly Castle and St Davids Bishop’s Palace. Available on Cadw’s YouTube channel, the ‘Castles from the Clouds’ videos have been uploaded to encourage people to immerse themselves in Welsh history.

To watch the videos, click here.

Forgotten WW1 poets to be celebrated

A professor is seeking to raise awareness of the more unconventional literary voices that emerged during the First World War. In a series of lectures this year, Dr David Rudrum from the University of Huddersfield will focus on poets who adopted experimental literary approaches, such as the Austrian Georg Trakl, whose experiences on the Eastern Front led him to commit suicide. “Most of the war poetry that we teach in schools is very conventional and rather predictable. It rhymes and it scans,” said Dr Rudrum. “But the early 20th-century was also the period that we refer to as modernism. All the rules of traditional poetry were being broken. The avante garde writers who went to the Front wrote hectic, frenetic poetry that captured the rhythm and the chaos of the war.”

To find out more, click here.

 

18th-century Benjamin West drawings to be auctioned

The original chalk drawings of two lost paintings by American portrait and history painter, Benjamin West, are to go under the hammer this month. The black chalk on buff paper of Moses, 1787, and another of St. John the Baptist, 1787, appear to be preparatory studies for two large-scale oil paintings, Moses Showing the Brazen Serpent and St. John the Baptist, that West produced in the late 18th century. These rare drawings provide the first real insight into how West’s lost paintings may have originally appeared. West (1738-1820) was the first painter in Britain to receive critical acclaim for featuring contemporary clothing in his historical canvases. The works will go under the hammer at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale on Thursday 24 July.

To find out more, click here.

 

Joseph Chamberlain remembered

Historians, government ministers and MPs are meeting in Birmingham to mark the achievements of Joseph Chamberlain, 100 years on from his death. Described by Winston Churchill as the man “who made the weather”, Chamberlain shaped the political agenda when the British Empire stood at the height of its power, BBC News reports. He is also noted for the mark he left on Birmingham, including building schools, swimming pools and libraries. Chamberlain became mayor of Birmingham in 1873.

To read the BBC News article in full, click here.
 

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