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MOSI CHIEF MAKES SLAVE SHIP APOLOGY

The head of the Museum of Science and Industry apologized Wednesday for a plan to use artifacts from a former slave ship in a pirate exhibit.

And just so there's no confusion, MOSI president Wit Ostrenko said, he will not try to bring the Whydah exhibit to Tampa at a later time.

"I would like to apologize to anyone in the community that I may have offended in my consideration of bringing this controversial exhibition to MOSI," Ostrenko said in a statement released through a museum spokeswoman.

Late Sunday evening, Ostrenko released a statement that said MOSI had decided not to bring the Whydah (pronounced WID-ah) to Tampa "at this time," which left some residents who opposed the plan wondering whether Ostrenko hoped to land the display later. A pitch 14 years ago for a Channelside-area pirate museum using artifacts from a slave ship failed after community outrage was expressed.

The Whydah was overtaken by pirates days before it sank in 1717 off Cape Cod. Built in 1715, the ship's primary role was transporting slaves.

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