Regarding Colin Woodard’s June 25 article about the current exhibit, “Real Pirates: An Exhibition from National Geographic,” at the Portland Science Center, I think some clarification is in order.

Understanding that Mr. Woodard mostly likely did not write the headline, I still take exception to its declaration that “controversy surrounds new pirate ship exhibit.”

There is no controversy.

Whatever Mr. Woodard or others want to say about Barry Clifford, who discovered the wreckage of the Whydah, the artifacts that were recovered, cataloged, preserved and are on exhibit at the Portland Science Center are authentic relics from the only verified Golden Age pirate ship ever discovered.

While the exhibition would not be possible without the findings and contributions of Barry Clifford, he was joined on the Whydah project by respected archaeologists, including a past president of the Society for Historical Archaeology, two active members (at the time) of the Society of Professional Archaeologists and a then-member of the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology. In addition, the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeology Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued all the proper permits to the Whydah recovery project.

The finds from the Whydah have brought to light a completely new picture of the way pirates actually lived during the Golden Age of Piracy. They are now showcased in a world-class exhibition, which tells an academically verified, educational and entertaining true story of piracy in the early 18th century.

To date, “Real Pirates” has been enjoyed by nearly 2 million visitors at some of the finest science museums in the country. We are proud to be able to offer this window on New England’s maritime history at the Portland Science Center.

While there may be disagreements among the charged personalities who inhabit the world of explorers and archeologists, assigning “controversy” to the exhibit and the artifacts does a disservice to their historic relevance and value.

Joe Gold

president, Portland Science Center

Swampscott, Mass.