The Seagull, formerly the floating residence of Josip Broz Tito, was towed with the help of three tugboats, from the port of Rijeka to the Dalmont shipyard in Kraljevica, where it will be converted into a museum ship.
According to HINA (Croatian News Agency), the value of the work is 6,31 million euros, excluding the VAT, and the deadline for completion is 14 months. The ship has been anchored in the ”Porto Baroša” port since the mid-2013.
The ship was built and launched in the 1938 in Genoa under the name “Ramb III” and its first purpose was to transport bananas.
At the beginning of the World War II, it was transformed into a warship, and in 1943, it was taken over by the Germans and acted as a minelayer under the name Kiebitz until the end of the war.
At the end of the World War II it was sunk in the port of Rijeka. After three years, it was pulled out from the sea to become the school ship “Seagull” of the Yugoslav Navy and the floating residence of the former Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. Tito made a series of state trips and held meetings with heads of state, mostly related to the Non-Aligned Movement.
After the breakup of Yugoslavia, the Seagull sailed to Boka Kotorska, where it was sold to the Greek shipowner, who entrusted it to the shipyard Viktor Lenac for repairments, and remained there after the bankruptcy of the owner. It was bought by the City of Rijeka.
The ship was being reorganized into a museum within the project “Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture”, which is in the framework of the European project “Tourist valorization of representative monuments of Rijeka’s industrial heritage”, which also included the reconstruction of the Sugar Palace into the headquarters of the Rijeka City Museum, for which it was granted about 9,25 million euros in grants from the European Regional Development Fund.
The museum exhibit will cover 4,500 square feet of the ship. The multimedia and interactive permanent exhibit of the museum ship will be consisted of four parts: the history of the ship from 1938 to 1990, the role of Josif Broz Tito and his travels on board in the development of the Non-Aligned Movement, life on the school ship and the presentation of the ship as a technological achievement of its time.