Blackbeard's booty attracts throngs to museum

Posted June 24, 2011 5:16 p.m. EDT
Updated June 24, 2011 5:24 p.m. EDT

— More than 12,000 people have visited a Beaufort museum in the past week to view an exhibit of items recovered from the wreckage of what is believed to be the flagship of the pirate Blackbeard.

Divers raised an anchor last month from a shipwreck off the North Carolina coast that experts say is the Queen Anne's Revenge. The recovery generated interest worldwide, state officials said.

An exhibit of artifacts from the ship, from tiny trade beads, buckles and flecks of gold to samples of still-encrusted artifacts soaking in tanks of salt water, has drawn visitors from 26 states as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

“This is the most successful exhibit we’ve launched in the past three decades,” Joseph Schwarzer, director of the North Carolina Maritime Museums, said in a statement.