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German shipwreck explorer donates cultural relics to Chinese museum

  CHANGSHA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- A collection of 38 cultural relics has been donated by a German shipwreck explorer to a museum in central China's Hunan Province. The collection, discovered in the Bakau shipwreck, included 15 pieces of Chinese porcelain from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and 23 pottery and porcelain items made in southeast Asia, according to the Hunan Museum.

  Tilman Walterfang, a German shipwreck explorer, set up the underwater archaelogical salvage company Seabed Explorations in 1996 in Germany.

  The company discovered the Bakau shipwreck, an early 15th-century Ming vessel of Chinese origin, in Indonesia in early 1998, according to Walterfang.

  Fang Zhaoyuan, a porcelain researcher with the Hunan Museum, said the collection is not only a significant record of China's maritime trade during the early period of the Ming Dynasty, but shows the cultural exchange between China and southeast Asia during the 15th century.