In our homes, we are who we are thanks to the sea.
As a community, and as an island, we need to know what has happened and what is happening with regards to our relationship with the sea. If we cannot understand the connections, we cannot explain ourselves as a territory, and we cannot face the challenges of the present and of the future. There is some urgency to the task. Firstly, in the last 40 years, an important part of our maritime heritage has disappeared. Secondly, as we lose vessels, traditional boats, fishing techniques and the knowledge of master craftsman, we are suffering an erosion of our identity.
That is why, in December 2017, the Museu Marítim de Mallorca was created. The objective of the institution is to investigate, preserve, recover, promote and communicate the maritime and port heritage of Mallorca. This, in turn, will contribute to knowledge of the Balearic maritime environment.
With just hard work and an institution that guarantees continuity and a clear route map, we will be able to understand the vast heterogeneous cultural background that characterizes us as a maritime community. Using this approach, we can preserve our values and convey them to future generations.
A varied journey
The Museu Marítim de Mallorca came into existence thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of many people and organisations. For example, when the Balearic Islands Maritime Museum (1951-1972) closed, the Friends of the Maritime Museum Association did not give up. They fought for there to be a local centre responsible for our maritime heritage.
Our museum is part of the Consortium of the Museu Marítim de Mallorca comprising the Mallorcan government and the Balearic Islands government. It is expected that, in the future, other organisations will be involved to make the consortium broader and more diverse.
A bot, a llaüt (both traditional Mallorcan boats) or a schooner can all sail across the sea. A vessel can do this as a result of the many pieces that comprise its structure, that provide it with balance and that give it an identity. Without one piece, another is worthless. All Mallorcan master boatbuilders know this.
The Museu Marítim de Mallorca is located in a community. The museum will not be understood unless the neighbours are welcoming and involved, unless it is a space for radical dialogue and unless it is a catalyst for dynamizing the Mallorcan maritime sector and Mallorca itself.
We would like to invite you to embark on this adventure.
Have a safe trip!
In a boat designed by a master boatbuilder, copper rivets support different parts of the hull. They provide strength and are fundamental in providing the boat with support so that the structure works in an organic, balanced way, and in harmony with its environment. Similarly, since it was established, the Museu Marítim de Mallorca has had a very clear series of values that support its identity.
The museum must be a lively, dynamic and welcoming creative space where content can be generated. It must be a home for different cultural events – both in-house and collaborative productions.
It must be interactive and collaborative. It is a catalyst for dialogue as interaction with the different environments surrounding it is essential.
It must be open to experimentation and reflection. It is an experimentation laboratory and a catalyst for change. It is a reference point for creation, entrepreneurship, education and the development of communicative dynamics. This will enable people to contribute proposals to the museum (e.g. collections and exhibits) for the social and economic enrichment of our island.
It must be sustainable and promote sustainability as a way of life.
It must incorporate the gender perspective to make the story of the sea more egalitarian. The sea is a sum of values. At its heart are the values of care, cooperation, solidarity and teamwork. These values, explained from a gender perspective, can make us think about how they relate to life on land. We can then begin to integrate the values of the sea into our daily lives and routines.
The story of the Museu Marítim de Mallorca began in 1951. The then Museo Marítimo de Baleares held its first exhibition in the Sea Consulate building in Palma. Items of historical interest were exhibited from both public and private collections.
In 1972, the building was renovated, and the museum temporarily paused all its activities. The Spanish state was in a moment of flux and, as a result, that temporary pause lasted until 2018.
Throughout these years, Mallorcan society, along with a variety of different organisations, prevented the museum from being forgotten. This enabled the Museu Marítim (now solely pertaining to Mallorca) to set sail once more.
It is important to recognise the enthusiasm and the drive of countless people. Some are no longer with us. However, without them, we would not have opened the new museum.
Without them, this dream would not have been possible.