Temporarily postponed by the pandemic, but now free from restrictions, a floating exhibition showcasing relics from the 1821 Greek Revolution will travel to various port sites around the Aegean – a reminder that the sea was the place where the modern Greek state was founded.
The first recognition of the struggle against the Turks by the foreign forces was when the British accepted the acts of naval blockades made by the uprisings. Behind this very interesting concept are the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, the National Historical Museum (NHM), the “Maria Tsakos” Public Benefit Foundation, International Centre for Maritime Research and Tradition, and Piraeus Bank.
The training sailboat “Mania,” owned by Captain Panagiotis Tsakos, will set sail on Sunday, June 26 from the port of Chios, to tour 20 ports and give the opportunity to islanders and mainlanders to see up close some rare exhibits. The sailboat, when conditions allow, will be flanked by units of the Hellenic Navy and the Coast Guard, and a flotilla of private escort vessels.
The aim of this floating exhibition is to highlight the naval struggle of 1821 through historic documents and artifacts from the Historical Museum, such as the cross from the ship of Admiral Miaoulis, naval weapons, and flags, as well as digital applications, including representations of naval battles, audio excerpts from historical sources, and musical scores.
The narrative begins in the Aegean during the pre-revolutionary years and the first steps for the creation of battle-worthy Greek units against the dominant Ottoman fleet. It will bring to the fore the history of the islands that played a leading role in the Revolution, the crucial events and, of course, the faces of the naval struggle. Apart from Chios (Chora and Kardamyla), the exhibition will sail to the ports of Oinousses, Psara, Lesvos, Limnos, Samothrace, Agios Efstratios, Skyros, Andros, Syros, Spetses, Hydra, Poros, Aegina.
The most important thing, however, is that the exhibition will be accompanied by one of Greece’s most beloved historians, Maria Efthymiou, who will make a series of lectures about the naval struggle of 1821. Her fellow passengers onboard the “Mania” will be curators and conservators of the NHM.
The floating exhibition is, in its own way, a tribute to the National Historical Museum, as the core of its collections was first created in 1884, when a group of enlightened individuals decided to rescue and gather together objects and documents related to 1821.
This article was previously published in Greek at kathimerini.gr.