The Shipwreck of La Belle (Le Naufrage de la Belle)

Directed by Alan Govenar


Details: The Shipwreck of La Belle (Le Naufrage de la Belle) 1998, 52 minutes, color, Producer: Documentary Arts co-production with La Sept/ARTE; Director: Alan B. Govenar; Writer: Alan Govenar and Andrew Dean; Cinematography: Robert Tullier; Editor: Andrew Dean

The 1995 excavation of La Belle, buried beneath Matagorda Bay off the coast of Texas for more than three centuries, is among the most significant archeological discoveries in North America.

Through an unprecedented recovery effort by the Texas Historical Commission, including the construction of a cofferdam and the pumping out of more than 300,000 gallons of water, the ill-fated expedition in 1684 by French explorer René-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle comes to life.

The Shipwreck of La Belle tracks the process of the recovery of La Belle from the first dives to the dismantling of the hull and the conservation of thousands of artifacts.