Athens will soon be welcoming visitors to a vast underwater museum with open shipwrecks and other submerged heritage sites following the Greek Council of Museum’s approval of the preliminary plans for the highly-anticipated Museum of Underwater Antiquities in Piraeus.
The landmark Silo building that was built around 1935 on the waterfront of the Piraeus Port, will be transformed into a museum showcasing Greece’s maritime history. It will allow visitors access to ancient marine monuments, which remain where they were found on the seabed.
Piraeus is the largest port of Greece and one of the largest seaports in the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Ministry of Culture, “Piraeus Cultural Coast project aims to connect tourism with culture and the city with the port. The New Museum of Underwater Antiquities is linked to the sea, the journey, the discoveries, the research, the adventure. The new museum will be accommodated in an area of diachronic habitation and will highlight the most important aspect of Greek cultural heritage; our marine tradition.”
The new museum will include shipwrecks, ship models, ancient cargo, historical maps, as well as galleries, exhibitions, an amphitheatre, a library, as well as an emphasis on education programs and scientific projects, a conservation laboratory; plus a restaurant.
“The main purpose of the creation of the Museum of Underwater Antiquities is to highlight the relationship between Greek culture and its long history with the sea via well-preserved underwater finds. Visitors will be able to dive into the past and view submerged settlements,” announced Lina Mendoni, Minister of Culture and Sport.