Local | The disaster that became a success story – 60 years since Vasa was found

By on August 28, 2016

On August 25, 2016 marks 60 years since the amateur researcher Anders Franzén rediscovered warship Vasa in bottom of Stockholm stream. Something that was the start of the world’s most successful maritime museum.

In a classic cut scene that can be seen at the Vasa Museum website, one can see Anders Franzén to sit in a boat in Stockholm stream. He cranks up a plug sold he awhile previously released into the water. When the solder comes up above the water appears a piece of black oak stuck in the end – wood from the Vasa tires. The magnificent warship that sank during its maiden voyage in 1628 was thus re-found, which was the starting point for a comprehensive rescue adventure.

The mark after the plug solder can be seen even today on the upper deck. A trace of the contemporary history of the Vasa and a story that all the time have been transformed and given new chapter.
Long thought that Vasa had been forgotten for hundreds of years when Anders Franzén encountered the ship, but it was about a rediscovery. The ship’s approximate location has been known for history, explaining the Vasa Museum researcher Fred Hocker.

He explains that it was going on salvage attempt for decades after the sinking and that the wreck was marked on nautical charts well into the 1800s. It was also made dives in Vasa in the 1800s and there were even plans in the early 1900s to blow up the ship to access the valuable black oak. If Anders Franzén knew anything about this history is unknown.

Shall be preserved for 1,000 years

But it was not until the 1950s that serious archaeological experiments were performed to again locate Vasa. And it was Anders Franzén, which accounted for these and it was he who had the vision to salvage the ship. But he was thus not alone rediscovery.

Anders Franzén worked with diver Per Edvin Fälting who had great knowledge of the underwater environment in Stockholm stream. Together they located the elevation on the ground where the plug solder then gave pacifier August 25, 1956. Per Edvin Fälting was also the one who came down and confirmed that it was Vasa lying there in the mud, said Fred Hocker.

The discovery was the start of what is today the world’s most-visited maritime museum. More than 1.3 million visitors every year step through the doors and around 80 percent of them coming from abroad. The museum is also spoken and known in the museum world. Something that museum director Lisa Månsson can attest.
Many people are fascinated by the exciting story of how grand the ship sank on its maiden voyage and then preserved almost intact on the ground for several hundred years. Not least children. In the fall, we will therefore have family programs where you yourself can try to salvage a ship, said museum director Lisa Månsson.
The rediscovery of the Vasa also meant that her story continued. First with the salvage and then with the preservation of the ship. A work that according to museum director constantly going and so it will remain.
Vasa’s story is not over. We are constantly researching the ship. Both of matters pertaining to 1600’s shipbuilding technology and how it was to live and work on board. But also about how the ship is doing and how she should be preserved for the future. Our goal is that Vasa will remain at least 1000 years, says Lisa Månsson.
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