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Congress 2016

9th EMH Congress
Errenteria/Pasaia, Basque Country, Spain
22-24 September 2016


Problem solving strategies in maritime heritage

Significance for owners.
If you look at an old ship, for the owner it may be a treasure, but for others it could be a piece of junk. When you tell people that it is a former fishing vessel called 'Zeesboote' from the bays around Stralsund it becomes a bit more interesting. The story that this type of ship was rescued from scrapping by the former Eastern Germany authorities by converting them to a special class of racing yachts makes you will never forget it. Similar stories can be told about the San Juan, the whaler replica giving back the Bask society its identity in whaling, or the Halve Maen, reliving the discovery of the Hudson Bay and River by the Dutch. Replica's get another value. Reconversion is more obvious and charter vessels as a part of heritage is more clear: it enables story telling for long time.

Significance for the public.
In maritime heritage most people involved cherish their object but it is a hard job against regulations and lack of money. From marketing point of view the experience of the public/society must become the central theme. Put the objects in their environment again (ensembles) and create support via emotions and enforcing identity.

Sector, factor, vector.
In Dutch wording: we are a 'sector' now, we claim our own position and like to get support for our 'hobby'. The next step is to become a 'factor', economically for tourism and housing for example, but also the ensemble value in spatial planning and landscape. And the ultimate step would be becoming a 'vector', a vehicle for society emotions like identity and historical awareness. Being a vector makes it easier to defend against regulations and to raise funding.

FOR THE PROGRAMME open this PDF file


Some sites for extra information or orientation:

European Capital of Culture

DSS2016 logo


The sea factory of the Basques.
Where we are


On this former wharf you will find a new center for boatbuilding.
Information about the reconstruction of the whaler San Juan / St. John