Two crates of Scotch whisky which belonged to the polar explorer Ernest Shackleton are to be recovered after a century buried in the Antarctic ice.
The McKinlay and Co whisky was found buried under a hut built and used during Shackleton's unsuccessful South Pole expedition between 1907 and 1909.
The crates, which are encased in ice, were first found three years ago.
New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust plans to use special cutting tools to remove the crates from the ice.
The crates and bottles are expected to undergo conservation work in New Zealand before being returned to the remote hut at Cape Royds, which the trust is trying to restore to the same condition as when Shackleton's team left it.
"I personally think they must have been left there by mistake, because it's hard to believe two crates would have been left under the hut without drinking them;"
Al Fastier, Trust spokesman
Trust spokesman Al Fastier said he would not be tempted to sample the Scotch, saying he preferred to allow the century-old spirits to retain their mystique.
"It would be terrible to sample it and find that it was off," he told Radio New Zealand.
Distillers Whyte and Mackay, which owns the McKinlay brand, are keen to get hold of a bottle, or at least a sample of the now-extinct blend.
The company's master blender Richard Paterson said: "We might even get enough to be able to take a stab at recreating it."
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