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America's Cup to Be Fully Restored

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (March 18, 1997) — The British jewelers that crafted the America's Cup some 150 years ago have confirmed that the prized yachting trophy can and will be fully restored, announced officials from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Photographs of the damaged trophy have been sent by courier to Garrards of London so the restoration planning can begin immediately. The restoration process will take approximately six weeks, RNZYS officials said.

The America's Cup, symbolic of international yachting supremacy, was severely damaged last Friday when a 27-year-old political activist smashed the trophy case with a sledgehammer, then began beating what has become affectionately known as the Auld Mug.

"The Cup itself has been released by the police and it now remains for Sun Alliance, our insurers, to complete their assessment of the damage," said RNZYS Commodore John Heise. "As soon as that is done, the Cup will be flown to Britain so that Garrards can proceed with the restoration."

The Cup is insured for NZ$500,000. The RNZYS is planning a full review of its security for the trophy when it returns to New Zealand.

"We are confident that the measures in place were adequate. The trophy was displayed in the same case, with the same electronic alarms, as during its stay at San Diego Yacht Club," Heise said. "Now, however, we will completely review all arrangements involved in keeping the Cup secure in the future. We certainly don't want anything of this kind to happen again, but we also do not want to lock the Cup away in a vault and deny all access to it."

Benjamin Peri Nathan, the man arrested in connection with the incident, was charged on Saturday with incurring criminal damage and unlawful entry into a building with intent to commit a crime.

He was remanded to custody until April 18 when a pre-depositions hearing is scheduled. His lawyer has indicated that Nathan will deny the charges and elect trial by jury, according to a statement from the RNZYS.

See also these earlier reports:

  • America's Cup Beaten By Political Activist
  • America's Cup Badly Damaged in Sledgehammer Attack


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