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Argentine Ship at Center of International Dispute Docks in NYC

By Maya Rajamani | June 15, 2016 11:52am
 The public can board the ARA Libertad for free starting Wednesday, June 14 through Friday, June 17.
ARA Libertad
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HELL'S KITCHEN — A naval ship that found itself in the middle of a legal battle between Argentina and a hedge fund has docked at the Intrepid Museum for visitors to tour.

The Argentine naval vessel ARA Libertad — one of the world’s largest and fastest ships — will be open to the public at no cost from June 14-17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 1950s-built ship, which took its maiden voyage in 1961, is used as a training vessel for naval cadets.

It also travels around as a “goodwill ambassador, having covered more than 800,000 nautical miles across all seas, visited about 500 ports in more than 60 countries and trained more than 11,000 navy graduates,” museum officials said.

In October 2012, the ship was held captive in Ghana by a hedge fund trying to get Argentina to repay money the country owed after defaulting on its debt in 2002.

A Ghanaian court ruled the fund, NML Capital, could hold the Libertad at the port until Argentina forked over $20 million.

As the feud escalated, Libertad sailors “reportedly pulled guns on Ghanaian officials who tried to board the vessel to move it to another berth,” the BBC reported.

But in December 2012, a UN tribunal ordered the ship’s release and it sailed back to Argentina the following month, the report said.

The ship will be docked at the Intrepid Museum on Pier 86, at West 46th Street.