Authorities in Quang Ngai Province will spend over VND40 billion (US$1.9 million) to salvage a 700-year-old shipwreck, believing it has a treasure worth over VND54 billion.
Speaking to online newspaper VnExpress Thursday, Nguyen Dang Vu, director of the central province's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the task would take two months and cover an area of 600 square meters around the site of the ship, which contains some 40,000 antique objects.
The salvaged items would be auctioned, and the ship, believed to be a 14th-century Yuan Dynasty vessel from China, and objects of which only one piece are found would be put on display and used for scientific studies, he said.
Da Nang authorities are announcing the excavation plan more than four months after the ship was discovered off the coast of Binh Son District, reportedly by a group of fishermen.
People have flocked to the site to try and salvage antiques, and clashed with the police.
In November the police arrested eight people for instigating hundreds of locals to prevent authorities and scientists from surveying the shipwreck, which is suspected to have burned before sinking.
The mob threw stones at the police, destroyed signboards indicating it was a restricted area, overturned a police car, injuring seven officers, and damaged three other cars and a boat.