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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, August 16) - An ancient funeral cave containing archeological remains has been discovered in Tahiti’s west coast Commune of Punaauia, the French Polynesia government has reported.

"We are going to take protective measures to provide security for the funeral cave, which, according to experts, is a very interesting discovery," said Jean-Paul Barral, French Polynesia President Oscar Temaru’s special communications adviser.

Culture Minister Jean Marius Raapoto told Tahitipresse that the exact location of this discovery is not to be disclosed publicly.

"We are obliged to preserve the location’s confidentiality and to take emergency protective measures to block access to the cave. We must avoid looting because for the moment we haven’t yet had time to meet with the owners of the land," he said.

The Culture Minister insisted that this funeral cave, which contains wooden objects and other remains, must be closed until authorizations are obtained for a more complete search. "Eventually, it’s the public who will benefit," Raapoto said.

August 17, 2004


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