Exhibition about historical links between Klaipėda and Stavanger

Relations between the towns of Klaipėda and Stavanger were established two hundred years ago. Lithuanian Sea Museum in cooperation with Stavanger Maritime Museum created a movable exhibition 'The Silver of the Sea – from Stavanger to Klaipėda in 1820–1870', which tells that herring was actually the main link between Lithuania and Norway at that time.  

The research of the historical herring trade road and preparation of the joint exhibition united the experts to foster the marine cultural heritage of Norway and Lithuania. The movable exhibition and the seminars introduce the historical relations between the areas of the Baltic and North Seas to the audiences of both countries.

Trade in the Baltic Region helped Stavanger to flourish

According to exhibition curator historian Dainius Elertas, huge shoals of herring came to the shores of Stavanger in 1820. During winter season, the boundless quantity of food was rushing into the nets. For the first time in history, Stavanger merchants finally received marketable export commodity which caused economic growth of the land. Baltic Sea countries with the people who liked and appreciated this nutritious fish for ages represented the huge selling market of herring.

'In 1808, herring left the Baltic Sea. 'Herring consumption in Lithuania was determined also by the Catholic fasting tradition, therefore the shortage of this product was felt immensely. In 1815–1870, hundreds of small ships from Stavanger were carrying barrels of salted herring to the Baltic seaports, bringing back ray and cannabis. Herring brought prosperity to Stavanger. Poor and unattractive city with about 2 300 population in the early 19th Century, within the period of 60 years turned into the fourth largest city in Norway with 25 000 inhabitants. Trade in the Baltic Sea Region ensured economic growth and development for the entire south-eastern part of Norway', told Mr. Elertas.

The exhibition is a part of the larger project

The Lithuanian Sea Museum together with Stavanger Maritime Museum launched the project called 'Preservation of Neringa Fort and its Sustainable Use' in 2014, which received support of the EEA financial mechanism and Lithuanian state budget under the Conservation and Revitalisation of Cultural and Natural Heritage programme implemented by the Ministry of Culture.

During the implementation of the project, the fort dating back to the 19th Century is being revitalized by rehabilitating and fortifying the quays, restoring caponiers, cleaning the ditch. In addition, public seminars about the importance of cultural heritage are organized. The works in the fort are planned to be completed by summer 2017.

Prepared according to the information of the Lithuanian Sea Museum

Poster of the exhibition

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