Paintings by one of Russia's most famous artists which were lost in a shipwreck over 124 years ago could be worth millions of pounds, experts say.
A number of highly-valuable works by Ivan Aivazovsky were lost when the General Kotzebue steamship sank off the coast of Crimea in 1895.
The wreckage was finally discovered last year by divers from Russia's Neptune underwater expedition along with the fragments of ten paintings.
Aivazovsky is believed to have given the crew the paintings and sketches after he travelled on board their vessel.
Footage from the location shows the artworks covered in heavy silt.
An earlier expedition to recover the items was halted over fears that the operation would further damage them.
Roman Dunaev, the head of the Neptune expedition, confirmed to local media in Russia that it woould restart the operation next month.
Crimea-born Aivazovsky, who died in 1900, was well-known for his depictions of naval life and was considered one of the greatest masters of marine art.
Wealthy Russian oligarchs have snapped up his paintings in recent years which have pushed up demand for works by Aivazovsky.
In 2012, one of most well-known works – V iew of Constantinople and the Bosphorus – was sold at Sotheby's for a record $5.2 million (£3.2 million).
Built in the UK in 1866 and named after Novorossia governor Pavel Kotzebue, the Kotzebue was operated by the Russian Steam Navigation and Trading Company.
It was the first steamer to pass through the Suez Canal in November 1869.
In April 1895, the Kotzebue collided with another ship off Cape Tarkhankut and sank.
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