Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Press letter: Time is running out

I READ with interest recently how the City of Nottingham is to benefit from a new Art Gallery costing £20million, a significant amount of which, I understand, has been paid for by the local authority.

Come on City of Sunderland have you not heard of the Bilbao effect? The Glass Centre, despite its attributes, has not succeeded in giving Sunderland the Bilbao effect. Everybody except the local authority seems to think the City of Adelaide has such a capability.

We are told a mere £5000,000 loan by the local authority would enable the ship to be brought to the Wear. I have personally pledged £250. I will double my pledge if the City of Sunderland provides a loan. Come on, time is running out.

Geoff Pearson, Sunderland


Unknown said...

I totally understand what you mean by this, it is so typical for the current view on the maritime heritage.

Here in Stockholm we have similar stories. On an island in the middle of the city called Skeppsholmen, where ship building have been a huge part of the islands history, they started building a Brig from scratch about 12 years back. They buildt her in a workshop that was over 200 years old, and had been used for shipbuilding all the time. Then we have the Museum of Modern Art on the same island, and they got the idea that they wanted that building for some office spaces, overviewing the sea. So they just went to the city, which owned the building, and of course they wanted the more profitable museum to re-build the building and rent it for a lot more than the ship builders could ever match. A small war broke out, the big museum and the city against all the boat people around Stockholm. No need to tell you who won. The good news is that the ship bulders managed to get a new work space on the same island to finish building their ship, who is now a beautiful little brig sailing around the Stockholm archipelago.

This is a classic example of what I consider to be a cultural elitism, while "fine arts" has a kind of flare around it, boat- and ship building and preservation is considered too outdated, common and direct, and sometimes maybe even uninteresting.

If they could only stop to see the beauty and the soul of these old and new classic ships, they would learn to appreciate both the craftwork and the art that these ships represent. They leave nobody unaffected. Everybody who have a heart and a soul are taken aback by old sailing ships. This may sound a bit fanatical but I really believe it to be true. There is something special about them that no Glass Centre can ever compete with.

Karin Gafvelin, Stockholm, Sweden

Anonymous said...

I saw this vessel called then A Brig for Stockholm when in Sweden to see the AF Chapman the brig was in between two buildings under scaffolding and a temporary roof with the project managers. I discussed exactly the problems
they had it was a disgrace that they had to move at all. Just across from the Island could be seen what had been done to save the Vasa in her superb boat house; a wonderful project. This country of ours is so very short sighted.

Successions of politicians have made UK ltd into an expensive place to live with little manufacturing base and little interest in out industrial history. This of course made the money for the wealthy and great. Such people owe us all some of that wealth.

Chris Roche