The Crane and other “Cranes in the landscape of Gdańsk” report from the scientific conference
The project, which involves the current renovation of the most famous landmark in Gdańsk – the Crane – conducted by the National Maritime Museum (NMM), is a much larger venture than only the renovation works and the construction of new exhibition space. In addition to the numerous educational activities, study visits and promotion activities, the “Crane” project also covers scientific initiatives. One of them was the conference “Cranes in the landscape of Gdańsk” held at the end of May.
The seminar, organized by NMM on 25 May 2022, in the conference room of the Ołowianka hotel adjacent to the Museum, gathered together nearly 50 participants. The audience and speakers included the representatives of, e.g.: Gdańsk University of the Third Age, the City of Gdańsk Architect’s Office, the Public Transport Authority in Gdańsk, the National Heritage Institute, Cracow Saltworks Museum in Wieliczka, the Open Museum of Technology in Wrocław and the Museum of Technology and Communication in Szczecin, Art Depot. The conference became an opportunity to rediscover and expand the knowledge about the Gdańsk Crane and to explore issues related to other, old and modern hoisting devices, blended in the landscape of our city. The meeting made it possible to naturally develop a platform for mutual integration of the hoisting equipment enthusiasts in Poland and discover various forms of their use, securing and promoting the knowledge about these devices.
The conference first thematic block was devoted to the Crane – probably the most famous port crane located in Poland. The Museum content experts presented its history and iconography and discussed the currently performed renovation works to be completed with the development of the new permanent exhibition. This part of conference ended with a speech by the museum educator who presented in an artistic way, with the use of various educational methods, the extensive educational potential of the historic treasure.
The second thematic block included the speeches by external speakers who discussed, among others, the symbolism of shipyard cranes in the urban landscape of Gdańsk, the history of women working in shipyards as crane operators, the extraordinary history of the “Wróblin” crane operating on the Oder river, and also reviewed the hoisting equipment operating in the port of Szczecin. Among the issues discussed during the lecture there were even topics related to the underground area: the salt mine in Wieliczka and the then wooden hoisting machines.
The speeches delivered during the conference inspired discussions and numerous questions and comments, referring to many different topics related to the hoisting devices and their historic character. A particularly valuable part of the debate involved the confrontation of the reality presented in the speeches with the issues related to the maintenance of historic technical treasures in Poland, well known to museum experts and engineers.
The project “Maintenance, renovation and modernization of the Gdańsk Crane – a branch of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk with the creation of a new permanent exhibition” is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants and Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
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