Can one still drink 269 year old wine?
VOC: Docking the Amsterdam
Foundation 'VOC Ship Amsterdam' and the Deloitte Impact Foundation are taking steps to store a sunken VOC ship and transport it to the home port of Amsterdam. Project lead Christel Samson (Deloitte Senior Manager Tax) shares her story.
Christel, why did you start this project at Deloitte?
"The project 'Docking the Amsterdam' is a unique project that does not only make an impact from a maritime archaeological perspective, but also in other ways. I find it interesting to get to know more people in this context and to expand my knowledge in terms of content. This particularly great challenge can only be achieved with many different stakeholders.”
What does this project mean?
"The objective of the foundation 'VOC Ship Amsterdam' is to store the ship that was stranded just off the coast of Hastings (UK) in 1749 and then to bring it to Amsterdam. The wreck is still largely intact, filled with cargo and will be made accessible to the public in an innovative way in Amsterdam. It is a grand project that has so many interesting perspectives, from important archaeological research to the latest technologies to exhibit the wreck. From sustainable architecture to a unique design of the museum, to education for maritime archaeologists and students. Moreover, this project offers a chance to tell a story about the VOC past in a transparent way, including the dark side of our colonial past."
How does Deloitte contribute to this project?
"Deloitte has been involved in various phases of the project since 2015. Colleagues from Consultancy, Digital, Tax, Legal, Global Port Services and Risk Advisory are, for example, involved with project management in collaboration with the board of the foundation and project director Prof. dr. Jerzy Gawronski. I think it's great to see that colleagues want and can make time for this project! "
Did you know…
- The 333 crew members all survived the storm and were able to walk across the beach to the inhabited world? The English people thought they were drunk, which is not surprising as they spent days on a heaving ship.
- There is a lot of diversity in the cargo, both in terms of content and in (European) origin. For example, the wine comes from France. We are very curious as to whether it is still drinkable. Given the preservation, that would be possible!
- The Amsterdam can be considered as an 18th-century underwater Pompeii. The ship is located 7 meters beneath the surface in sand and the 45-meter-long and 12-meter-wide ship's hull has remained intact, so that the contents of the cargo, equipment and personal belongings of the 333 crew members have been preserved for decay.
- The Amsterdam shared maritime heritage is in a broader European context. The ship's research is based on an English-Dutch collaboration in the field of science, heritage management and education.
- The dock will be designed so innovatively, that after its arrival at Amsterdam on the IJ, it can be converted into a public space including a water basin with glass walls (like an aquarium) that is accessible to visitors.
About the article series
This August, four members of the 'VOC: Docking the Amsterdam' project team share how they are involved in the project and what impact it has on them. To read the other articles, please visit the overview page.