Museum of Aegean Boatbuilding and Maritime Crafts

The Museum of Aegean Boatbuilding and Maritime Crafts (MNNTA) is a thematic technical museum based on the concepts of new museology. The MNNTA is a project of the Municipality of Eastern Samos and its creation is funded by the Operational Program "Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2014-2020" of the Ministry of Development. Both its Museological and its Museographic Studies have been approved by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

MNNTA is designed to operate through a network of museological, educational and research activities that are complementary to each other. At the heart of the new Museum is both the rescue and promotion of the tangible heritage, as well as the preservation and safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in the fields of shipbuilding and maritime crafts of the Aegean.

The exhibition presents key aspects of maritime craftsmanship explored through ethnographic studies in the boatyards and ports of the Aegean and through archaeological research on Aegean shipwrecks. The museological design aims to interpret the material remains and the intangible elements of boatbuilding tradition, focusing on the individuals behind the techniques and on the empirically transmitted knowledge. The technical maritime culture of the Aegean is also displayed, including its continuity since the antiquity.

The Museum of Aegean Boatbuilding and Maritime Crafts’ exhibition is addressed to a wide range of people, from tourists and locals to experts and researchers. The aim of the Museum is to become a place of education, entertainment, and culture for the whole Aegean, a chosen destination amongst the tourist routes and at the same time a pole of attraction of special tourist "packages" connected with the shipbuilding and maritime tradition of the Archipelago.

The museum operates on four functional units in addition to the permanent exhibition, for which multiple actions and applications are planned both on the premises of the Museum itself and outside its physical boundaries:

The first unit includes the rescue and protection of monuments, heirlooms, as well as tangible and intangible evidence. The most impressive part of this section are the wooden boats representing the boatbuilding tradition of the Aegean. The plan is to rescue and exhibit at least 12 representative types of boats. Traditional shipbuilding tools and over 300 exhibits are a large part of the collection, which includes also a number of designs, shipbuilding models and moulds. Other categories of exhibits include boat accessories, instruments and mechanisms onboard, logbooks and notarial documents, business records and other evidence from Aegean boatyards and shipping companies.

The Museum also preserves items of intangible cultural heritage, such as recorded or videotaped oral testimonies of craftsmen and sailors, archival photographs and film or video material of boatbuilding and maritime activities in the Aegean. In this section, the museum’s Archive of Oral Testimonies has been created and it includes recordings from 1984 until today from all over Greece. The number of interviews included in the Archive exceeds 200 and it is constantly enriched. The interviews refer to personal testimonies about the life, employment, woodworking techniques, complementary professions, customs, and social practices of the people of the sea.

The second unit includes experiential and recreational activities. They have been designed in order to provide a deeper and more direct understanding of the tangible and intangible testimonies. A set of applications aimed at visitors, both adults and children, offers constructions that resemble "nautica" tasks,  such as group rowing and the use of block-and-tackle to move heavy weights. Another set of experiential
activities is aimed at groups of visitors who come to the museum to learn a specific technical skill. The "Conservation and technical applications workshop" plays a key role in this section, as a fully equipped workshop of 125 m2, where the visitor will be able to use or build traditional tools, participate in the design of a wooden boat, or participate in other works related to boatbuilding and maritime tradition.

The third functional unit of the museum focuses on promoting knowledge and inspiring emotions both through the permanent exhibition and through the educational programs addressed equally to young visitors and older friends, who want to learn about boatbuilding. The Museum prioritizes the educational use of its collections, through the creation of programs aimed at the educational community, tourist groups, families and the elderly.

In addition to the educational activities for visitors, the museum aims to operate a stable and distinct educational structure for young people linked with vocational training in wooden boatbuilding and the craft’s development in the wider Aegean area. The educational structure will function as a hub for the rescue of traditional boatbuilding and the dissemination of knowledge, addressed to both Greek and foreign learners, with bilingual operation and flexible duration depending on the purpose of learning.

The last functional unit includes research and study activities. These will take place in the mathematical modeling laboratory that will operate within the Museum, belonging to the Department of Mathematics of the University of the Aegean. At the same time, researchers associated with the MNNTA will be able to study and explore the Museum's exhibits and the extensive material of the Archive of Oral Testimonies and the Museum’s archives of photos, drawings and videos.

For more information in Greek see here 

©  2021 Friends of the Museum of Aegean Boatbuilding and Maritime Crafts
©  2021 Friends of the Museum of Aegean Boatbuilding and Maritime Crafts