By Xinhua

HERAKLEIDON museum warmed up for an upcoming exhibition of ancient Chinese technology, by this week unveiling: The “Voyage: Greek shipbuilding and seafaring” in Athens.

“Seafaring has formed the Greeks’ character. The spirit of Ulysses still exists in Greeks today. Shipping was and still remains their basic activity. The sea and shipping in particular offer Greeks wealth, vision and a future,” said Eleni Nomikou, the museum’s director.

“Greek ships did not carry only products, but also knowledge and culture throughout our history. Thanks to these vessels Greeks travelled the world, enriched their knowledge and used it to create on this land and give birth to the Greek civilization.”

A total of 35 handmade wooden models of vessels, complemented with works of art, maps, drawings and video projections narrate the history of Greek seafaring from prehistoric times to the middle of the 20th century.

The model of a vessel of the Minoan civilization which flourished from 2600 to 1100 BC, was built based on a mural unearthed on Santorini Island, while for the replica of the early 19th century frigate “Hellas” Maras went through naval architectural designs of her sister ship, the US Navy’s frigate USS Hudson.

The frigate “Hellas” was built in the US, arrived in Greece in 1826 and played a decisive role in the last years of the War of Independence against the Turks.

As the “Voyage” exhibition is set to travel to Cyprus and the US, Herakleidon Museum is getting ready to welcome a remarkable exhibition of the technological and scientific achievements of the ancient Chinese civilization.

“The museum has signed a significant agreement with Beijing’s China Museum of Science and Technology (CSTM) for the exchange of two exhibitions of ancient technology,” Nomikou said.

“Ancient Greek technology will travel to China in October this year, while ancient Chinese technology will be presented in Herakleidon Museum in less than a month. It will stay here for about eight months giving the opportunity to not only Athenians, to see the achievements of Chinese people from antiquity to today in the fields of technology and science.”

The deal was sealed as the two countries celebrate in 2017 the China-Greece Cultural Exchanges and Cultural Industry Cooperation Year as part of efforts to further enhance bilateral ties.

“The two great ancient civilizations, the Chinese and Greek, meet each other through their differences. It is so exciting when one discovers how two different civilizations, two different ways of thinking which progressed in parallel and did not meet essentially in antiquity, how through all this show man’s effort to create and develop when facing the same issues,” Nomikou said.

The exhibition will also include a section on Chinese seafaring. “We will see their efforts in shipbuilding, how different were their vessels compared to the ships constructed by other people and how close they were regarding the key point: Man’s thirst to travel. This is eventually the common element we see regardless of the different ways and techniques used,” said Nomikou.