• The "Motława" ferry does not operate due to the river embankment renovation until further notice

The National Maritime Museum in Gdansk’s visit to Iceland

Boatbuilding workshops, sharing experiences and best practice for the maintenance and use of warehouse space and for digitalisation, as well as a few days of intense sightseeing. On 19–25 November 2017 the employees of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk went on a study visit to Iceland.

The study visit took place within the framework of the Bilateral Cooperation Fund, and it was a reciprocal visit – in January 2017, the departments of the National Maritime Museum hosted museologists from the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður in Iceland.

On the first day of their stay in Siglufjörður, Katarzyna Schaefer, Agata Martinka and Piotr Dziewanowski from the Conservation Department of the National Maritime Museum and Jakub Adamczak from the History of Shipbuilding Department gave a presentation on the history of the National Maritime Museum and the projects implemented by the Museum in recent years. On the following day, the Director of the Herring Era Museum, Anita Elefsen, showed our specialists around the headquarters of the institution. During the tour, the participants compared notes on the development of space, storage of items and climatic control in a warehouse area.

On the third day, the former director of the Herring Era Museum, Orlygur Kristfinnsson, gave a presentation on the issue of shipwrecks sunk in the waters near Iceland and the history of underwater explorations. The action plan of the institution for the coming year, including the organisation of the Nordic Coast Culture Festival in Siglufjörður, was discussed. The delegates from Gdansk were shown around the historical houses belonging to the museum – “Andrésarhús” and “Hlíðarhús”. The following two days of the field trip were devoted to boatbuilding workshops and a seminar on processes for the conservation of metal and wooden objects.

On 23 November, the staff of the National Maritime Museum went to Reykjavík to meet with the representatives of the Maritime Museum. The day was dedicated to a visit to the Coast Guard Vessel “Óðinn” and a meeting with Aleksander Witold Bogdański, the President of the Association of Poles in Iceland and a curator of the exhibition entitled “Their Memory Lives On” in the Reykjavík Maritime Museum. The exhibition is devoted to the memory of the members of the Polish cargo ship, s.s. “Wigry”, who died on the coast of Iceland on 15 January 1942. On the following day the employees of the National Maritime Museum visited the Settlement Exhibition archaeological site, where they learned about methods for the conservation of organic monuments, and also visited the Reykjavík Museum of Photography, where they were shown how the museum managed to digitalize their collections. Another point of interest during the visit to Reykjavík were the warehouses of the Reykjavík Maritime Museum.

The visits of employees of the National Maritime Museum to these Icelandic institutions resulted in long discussions on the possibility of stepping up their cooperation and sharing of professional experience. Discussions with the Herring Era Museum were also initiated in connection with a programme for long-term cooperation between the facilities.

The study visit was subsidised with the Bilateral Cooperation Fund – measure “b” for the “Conservation and Revitalization of Cultural Heritage” Programme realised within the framework of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014.