Team to excavate Griffin, Lake Michigan shipwreck

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A group that believes it has discovered the wreckage of a 17th-century French vessel in northern Lake Michigan says it’s received a state permit to conduct a test excavation at the site.

Great Lakes Exploration Group said Tuesday that the permit was issued by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the state archaeologist’s office.

The group battled with the state for years over access to the Griffin, also known by its French name, Le Griffon. A deal eventually was reached between the group, the state and the government of France.

The vessel was built by the legendary explorer La Salle and disappeared during its maiden voyage in 1679.

Steve Libert is president of the exploration group. He says he hopes the expedition this summer will confirm the shipwreck’s identity.

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