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A New Glow For the Crane

08.06.2021 |

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The Crane - a branch of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk

Gdańsk Crane – a branch of the National Maritime Museum – is undoubtedly a city icon and one of the most recognizable symbols of Pomerania. In February we conducted a survey to gauge community's expectations as to the refurbishment of the interior. Today we are proud to announce that, beginning in 2021, we will commence the restoration project. The landmark crane is going to get a new glow, while its unique character will be preserved, while taking in account the needs of the local community. The programme is funded by the European Economic Area.

Preserve the Crane for the Future Generations

The project encompasses refurbishment, modernization and preservation of the landmark harbour crane. The brick, wood, and metal structural elements will all be restored. All plumbing and wiring replaced and modernized. Refurbishment of all the floors in both towers and in a part of the wooden superstructure will allow for changing the visitor route, which will include the areas hitherto unavailable to the public. - The Crane is a part of technical heritage, one of the few surviving medieval cranes. The project will preserve this unique structure for the future generations, increase the comfort for visitors, especially the handicapped, and increase the energy efficiency of the building, thus reducing the strain on the environment – says Szymon Kulas, Museum’s deputy director for administration and technical issues.

The Cinematic Main Exhibition

The brand-new main exhibition, located on floors 0-3 in both the towers and in the crane proper – the so-called superstructure – will bring the visitors to the 17th-Century port in Gdańsk. The modern concept aims to replace a substantial part of written captions with film material. The narrator – Hans Kross, a Gdansk merchant and shipowner – will lead the visitors through the dangerous world of seafaring and the complicated rituals observed by traders and the burgher officials. Kross will explain how the wares were stored and unloaded, and how ships were built and repaired. He will lead the visitors through a burgher house and a port tavern, the hub of entertainment for the 17th-Century city. This narrative will be supplemented with innovative interactive stations, holograms, dioramas, large screens and smaller touchscreens, providing additional immersion and educational activities.

Modern Education

The New Crane will offer diverse cultural and educational activities, which will bring out the historical, artistic and scholarly potential of the site. The planned educational programme is also aimed to encourage the local community, especially members of groups endangered with social exclusion, to take active part in cultural life. The new educational programme will be aimed at pupils, students, individual people, families, and senior citizens. Especially interesting are the proposals tailored for handicapped people. – The educational programme has been designed to engage the visitors – says Przemysław Węgrzyn, the head of the Education Department of the NMM. – The audio-visual and multimedia elements of the new permanent exhibition will all add to the quality of the educational programme. The participants of the events organized in the Crane will be able to board a sailing ship heading to the port of Gdańsk and to see a fragment of a cargo pier.

International Cooperation

The refurbishment and restoration of the Crane and the construction of the new permanent exhibition are possible thanks to the funding received through the project: Maintenance, renovation and modernization of the Gdańsk Crane - a branch of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk, with the creation of a new permanent exhibition by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The value of the project, almost 18 000 000, is financed exclusively from outside sources: over 15 000 000 come from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as a part of EEA funds, while almost 3 000 000 come from the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport of the Republic of Poland. The conclusion of the project is planned in late 2023.

The project includes partnership cooperation with Museum Vest and Museum Lindesnes, which includes the production of a historical documentary, workshops in carpentry and landmark restoration, and course of joinery and model-making. These activities will provide an opportunity to share expertise.


The project "Maintenance, renovation and modernization of the Gdańsk Crane - a branch of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk with the creation of a new permanent exhibition" is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants and Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport of the Republic of Poland.

the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport

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