The replica of the 17th century Dutch East India Company (VOC) ship Prins Willem, which was moored at Den Helder, has been totally destroyed by a fire in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The fire brigade were called to Museumhaven Willemsoord just after midnight when smoke was seen coming from the vessel but it was some time before the source of the fire could be located, according to media reports.
Initially it seems the blaze could be brought under control but eventually the fire brigade had to allow it to take its course. The ship is said to be reduced to ashes.
The replica of the VOC ship was built in Friesland in 1985 and 1986 and for many years was part of the Nagasaki Holland Village open-air museum in Japan.
It sailed back to the Netherlands in 2003 and has been moored at Den Helder in the north of the country ever since.
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