Friends of Steamship Rotterdam
Early in 2001 five ss Rotterdam devotees came together for the first time to prepare a plan and rescue the beautiful steamship, which had been wasting away at the Bahamas since September 2000. The group eventually set up the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation (in Dutch: Stichting behoud stoomschip Rotterdam). The foundation’s members lobbied heavily to return the ship with its historic and cultural value back to where it belongs, the city of Rotterdam. The initiative paid off.
The City of Rotterdam decided to grant the popular ship a permanent berth in Maashaven, in the Katendrecht district. One of the larger housing corporations in the Netherlands made sure the old steamship was assigned a new commercial, recreational and training purpose.
In 2004 the ship was transferred from the Bahamas to Gibraltar. Most ‘crown jewels’, masterpieces onboard including statues, glass sculptures, artistic tapestries and the typifying interior design from the 1950s, were intact. The ship’s hull was touched up and repainted in the Spanish city of Cadiz and refurbished intensively at the German Wilhelmshaven, where it remained until August 2008. The ship was then transferred to Rotterdam for completion. The foundation remained involved throughout this process making sure the masterpieces regained their spots.
So far hundreds of thousands of people have visited the ship. Preservation paid off and today the foundation lives on under the name Friends of Steamship Rotterdam.These friends, along with a group of volunteers, perform different activities one of them being the preparation of a plan to manage all objects of art that exist onboard.
Steamship Rotterdam has hundreds of friends. Care to join them?
More information: www.stoomschiprotterdam.nl