[L’industrie c’est fou] Architectural firm wants to dig up 18th century wreck

Shipyard or construction? A bit of both. The ZJA architectural firm presented in November an ambitious project on the theme of maritime heritage. Based in the Netherlands, the company wants to build a museum around a wreck dating from the 18th century.

A boat “remained intact”

This idea takes us back in time to January 1749, at the time of the colonial empire of the United Provinces. A pillar of this system, the Dutch East India Company then launched the Amsterdam, a merchant ship responsible for reaching Indonesia. The brand new ship will never reach Asia. Caught in a storm, the sailboat was abandoned off Hastings (United Kingdom) before being swallowed up by the sand.

Amsterdam has not moved since (see photo above). “It has remained intact to this day with its original cargo, waiting to be unearthed with all the stories it contains”, writes the firm Deloitte which is one of the protagonists of the project with the archaeologist Jerzy Gawronski and the VOC Schip Amsterdam foundation specializing in the history of the Dutch East India Company.

The wreck will remain submerged for research

The yard also associates the shipbuilder VEKA Shipyards and Mammoet, a company specializing in the lifting of heavy objects. The description of operations suggests ultra-delicate steps to best preserve this 40-meter-long time capsule. “A specially designed salvage dock will lift the wreckage with water and everything and transport it to Amsterdam. When it is moored in a suitable place, a shelter will be added to allow the basin to be used as a research facility and as a place to visit, ”says ZJA.

While keeping the wreck submerged, archaeologists will be able to dive in search of its buried secrets. This research should contribute to the history of colonization and more broadly to that of the 18th century. “Amsterdam is a treasure room that shows us how financial resources, information and technology, cultures, politics and violence, trade and globalization, innovation and exploitation merge”, analyzes ZJA. The general public will also be able to visit the Underwater Museum to learn more about the researchers’ findings.


Source: UsineNouvelle – Actualités A la une by www.usinenouvelle.com.

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