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Shipwreck springs life in Kaliningrad

A ship that ran aground more than a hundred years ago in the Baltic Sea has been restored to its former glory and has found a new home in the Ocean Museum of Kaliningrad.

Historians and archaeologists are enthusiastic as it is the first time Russia has gained such a prominent example of 19th century shipbuilding.

The ship used to carry cargo overseas over one hundred years ago, until it crashed against rocks.

“It was broken. It could be the end, the death. But after a hundred years people found it and brought it back to life. It is a rare archaeological success,” says Viktor Stryuk of the Ocean Museum.

In 2000 the ship was found near an amber mine.

The wood was somehow preserved by the wet sand it has been buried in.

The restorers moved the parts of the old ship by their own hands in order not to damage the fragile machinery. They have used special technologies to protect it from any harm.

“The ship was treated with polyethylene. Now it can stand anything. We give an archaeological guarantee for one hundred years!” claims Andrey Barinov, a restorer.

It was planned not to restore the ship as a whole, but to make it possible to look at it from an angle.

And after seven years of restoration visitors can see all the little details and mechanisms as they were created in the 19th century.

The organisers of the new exhibition tried to reconstruct not only the old ship, but the old times as well.

The philosopher Immanuel Kant lived in the city in the 18th century. Historians say he loved to sit on a bench at the wharf and watch ships come and go.

Now as the old ship returns, the bench and the philosopher are back as well.