Greece opens first underwater museum
- On 28/07/2021
- In Museum News
Emerging from the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, Hans-Juergen Fercher has just returned from his fourth dive to where mounds of 2,500-year-old wine jars mark the site of an ancient shipwreck – and Greece’s first underwater museum.
“This is a combination of diving and archaeological diving. It’s diving into history,” says the 48-year-old psychiatrist after pulling himself onto the deck of the Triton dive boat. “It makes it special and unique.”
The museum beneath the waves at Peristera, a rocky outcrop off the island of Alonissos, opened in 2020, though the site has been largely mothballed until now due to Covid-19 restrictions. As Greece opens up its vital tourism industry, the site offers an example of a new and more sustainable source of revenue.
Divers like Fercher and Danish wine-cellar maker Lisette Fredelund are willing to pay €95 (US$110) a dive – about 50 per cent more than the cost of a regular recreational scuba outing – for a guided tour of a site once the preserve of professional archaeologists.