Thursday, November 16
A tour was led through the archaeological exhibition Contraband. Three Centuries Underwater* at the St. Petersburg Headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society. The exhibits included restored artifacts recovered from Archangel Raphael, a Lübeck cargo vessel that sank in 1724. The URC RGS experts spent four seasons excavating the site. The tour was attended by the professional flow participants from Russia and other European countries. Prince Michael of Kent, a member of the British royal family, cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, and grand-nephew of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II, also attended the exhibition.
*The exhibition was opened on October 12, with media in attendance. By now, 2000 people have already been introduced to the heritage of Archangel Raphael.
Friday, November 17
Sergey Fokin, Executive Director of the Underwater Research Center of the Russian Geographical Society gave a speech as part of the scientific conference dedicated to the topic of “Experiences and issues related to documenting the objects of underwater cultural heritage. Creation of the Federal Registry of the objects of underwater cultural heritage objects.” Sergey Fokin described how to improve the methodology for working with the objects of underwater cultural heritage from the practitioners' point of view, as well as what gaps in the law must be filled in order to prevent the destruction of our underwater history and ensure that underwater research is 100% legitimate.
The participants of the International Cultural Forum also attended another exhibition called Plunging into the Darkness. The URC RGS showcased diving equipment and tools, as well as medical equipment for underwater work in the museum’s exhibition halls. The exposition dedicated to the 135thanniversary of the Kronstadt diving school introduces the audience to the divers as they were a century ago.
Saturday, November 18
The delegates of the International Cultural Forum went on a trip to visit places that are significant for maritime history experts and enthusiasts. The first stop was the Poltava historic shipyards, where a replica of the first Russian warship of the line of the same name is being built. After visiting the impressive hull of the ship and learning more about the shipyard, the guests left for Kronstadt. There, we visited Peter’s Dock, a truly unique hydraulic structure built in the 18thcentury. Until recently, it was used for its original purpose. As for its future, we hope it will be turned into a magnificent museum with underwater exhibitions and specialized laboratories. Next, we visited the Kronstadt History Museum that already has an exposition dedicated to marine archaeology. The collection includes 18th-century artifacts recovered and restored by the URC RGS experts. The event concluded with a brief conference that allowed the delegates to converse with the Executive Director of the URC RGS Sergey Fokin, Chief Engineer of the Peter's dock project Alexey Larionov, and the Director of the Kronstadt History Museum Evgeny Grishko.