The Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg is the largest museum and scientific centre all over the world that is dedicated to the history of development of sea navigation. It was opened by the German president in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg lying on the Elbe in 2008. The exhibition of the Museum, that is located in a completely rebuilt and restored complex of the historical dock-sheds, houses thousands of rare and thoroughly selected exhibits from all around the world that narrate about the navigation by merchant and naval vessels from the Ancient Times until nowadays. Until today the Hamburg Museum has not had any museum exhibits from Ukraine, but now this gap has been filled. A ceremony of transfer of a fundamental book entitled “Marine Encyclopaedia of Odesa” into the exhibition has been held in the Museum.
Dr. Axel Griessmer, Director of the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg, noted in his speech: “Unfortunately, it occurs very seldom nowadays that a private company gives so much attention to the issues of culture and historical heritage. Sadly, almost everybody deems it a mere lumber. So, what Ukrferry has done is a very rare, exceptional fact. The book is now free for access in the Library of the Museum for studies and references, and I am sure that “Marine Encyclopaedia of Odesa” will stand in good stead to the visitors of our Museum, in particular, students, scientists, and authors of other books searching for any research materials.
As was pointed out during the ceremony, the marine history of Odesa is an important constituent of the renown of the city all over the world, and bedrock of the identity of our city. Odesa, like Hamburg, has originated as a free port and has made a great contribution into the world marine heritage. Giving its due to the release of “Marine Encyclopaedia of Odesa”, the German colleagues wished in the ceremony that the marine community of Odesa would restore the Marine Museum of Odesa as soon as possible.
“Publication of “Marine Encyclopaedia of Odesa” is not a mere happenstance in the activity of our Company, says Alexander Kurliand, President of Ukrferry Shipping Company. For over 20 years we have been initiating and arranging for a host of press-tours for journalists, plein-air for artists, and different conferences and symposia for scientists that are held on our vessels. This year alone, on the passenger-and-freight ferries “Greifswald” and “Kaunas Sea Ways” there have been held a press tour in Batumi for the Ukrainian journalists, a visit of a delegation from Chernomorsk to their twin-town, Poti, and the International Conference of Scientists and Experts in Marine Economy... Now, preparations are under way for Litera-Tour2, a literary festival among whose participants are many famous writers, prize winners of the Isaac Babel International Literary Award, and for a chess cruise to Batumi for the World Chess Olympiad... Our plans also aim at continuation of work at “Marine Encyclopaedia of Odesa”, the project initiated by Roman Morgenstern, Director of Marketing and Development of Ukrferry Shipping Company. Besides, we intend to do everything in our power to encourage the marine business interests of Odesa to support the project of restoration of the Marine Museum that is long overdue in this city.
Alexander Fedorov, Press Aide of the Association of Shipowners of Ukraine