Wednesday 24 March 2010

The Vasa Museum, Stockholm

Click here to view the website of the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

It is a great example of how sheer hard work and determination can salvage a historical treasure and bring it back to life as a magnificent reminder of the heritage and identity of a place.

The Vasa is the world’s only surviving 17th-century ship and one of the foremost tourist sights in the world. The ship is displayed in a purpose-built museum in Stockholm.


The comment about the Vasa is indeed a very valid one because she has been preserved under cover. I am not sure if you intend to berth the City of Adelaide inside one of the sheds at Sunderland or indeed if there are sheds large enough. I think I saw a picture of Manxman in a large shed.

The reason for mentioning this is that unless (as I have always hoped) you send the rebuilt ship to sea, you will need to preserve her in the best manner and that is under cover. She can be restored and rigged and be very impressive but the thing to guard against is falling between the conflicting possibilities represented by an
iconic presentation, which the Cutty Sark will be when finished, and an appropriately protected testament to the origins of build and fabric. If she is not to sail I would think the best thing is to adopt a stance in favour of preservation and develop a philosophy at an early stage so as to guard against the siren calls of funders for exciting presentation. Otherwise it becomes difficult to maintain a ship as she needs to be when in the open (ie with regular constant work) when she is also valued as an archaeological artefact.

Richard Titchener

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