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 News and Events 

April 2003

Discovery House

Project Atlantis submitted its Discovery House report to GSGSSI in March for consideration. The report is substantial and covers not only research into the achievements of the Discovery Scientists but also a condition survey of the building, detailed proposals for building refurbishment and a large section on the proposed content of the exhibition centre.

The exhibition centre is planned to celebrate the significant achievements of the Discovery Scientists during their 30 years of research. The centre is also planned to exhibit today's fisheries research and management. The latest interactive technologies are planned to be used and include a bathymetric model of the currents of the Southern Oceans and thus the inter-relationship of South Georgia to Antarctica. An audio-visual theatre is also planned. The Post Office is also due to be moved into the building.

Clearly the timing is not ideal with GSGSSI's focus and resources being committed to the urgent need to clean up the hazardous materials in the Grytviken Whaling station. It is hoped however to at least continue progress this year with the development of some of the interactive software needed for the exhibition centre.

Grytviken Whaling Station

The situation concerning hazardous materials in Grytviken Whaling Station is now acute and the GSGSSI are having to tackle the problem head on. A team from Morrison International, the construction firm, have done a preliminary investigation of the work involved . They are due to produce a report with detailed costing to the GSGSSI by the end of May with a view for the first stage of work to clean up the site being under taken this next austral summer.

Two Norwegians accompanied the Morrison team in order to write a report for the Norwegian Government to seek some support for GSGSSI. Their proposal is to make the site safe with as little disturbance to the industrial archaeology as possible.

Project Atlantis was commissioned to provide three artist impressions of what the site might look like after a clean up. The first impression is for the site to be cleared. The second impression is for some of the large equipments on the production line to be left and for the three sealing vessels (Petrel, Albatross and Dias) to be hauled ashore. The third impression is for the production line to be left in place some building frames to be left, the vessels to be ashore, a large jetty to be reconstructed, a hydroelectric plant to be installed and for a small annex to the museum to be built to explain the workings of the whaling station.

Paris and Oslo South Georgia Meetings

A series of meetings were held in Paris and Oslo in early April to discuss how additional help could be found to support GSGSSI in its task of the Grytviken clean up. Institut Minos in Paris is already helping as its benefactor Frederik Paulsen has employed a Norwegian Stig Tore Lunde for two and half years to help with the saving South Georgia's heritage.

The Paris meeting with Institut Minos, the Commissioner GSGSSI and Project Atlantis investigated ways in which additional resources could be raised from perhaps Brussels and other options for assistance. The idea of a South Georgia Heritage Foundation was also discussed as an idea of providing a focus for fund raising.

In Oslo a meeting in the British Embassy convened by the Commissioner with Stig Tore Lunde and Project Atlantis in support invited a wide range of representatives to discuss how additional finance could be raised for GSGSSI. Members of the Norwegian Government, the Mayor of Sandefjord and a representative of the Friends of the Island together with two commercial firms were present. The outcome of the meeting was very positive and support for an Anglo/Norwegian/US South Georgia Heritage Foundation was underlined.


South Georgia Museum News

Over the past twelve months the museum has continued to develop and now all areas on the ground floor are full of interesting exhibits covering South Georgia's natural and social history.

A newly opened room is dedicated to the History of Administration, beginning in 1908 and including the events of 1982 and the subsequent 19 years of military presence, right up to the latest
Government of South Georgia initiatives. Some of the memorabilia from the old barracks building, Shackleton House, is on display.

The Whalers' Trades Rooms, also opened this summer, show the self-sufficiency of the whaling stations. There are exhibits on the blacksmith's workshop, the foundry, the carpenter's bench, the
machine shop, the plating and welders shop, and others. With the future of the whaling station itself in doubt, as buildings become unsafe, it is all the more important that the museum conserves some of these historic items.




New cases have been built for geological samples and for marinelife exhibits such as corals, sponges, bryzoans and hydroids.




That wraps up the news and events for Spring 2003, but keep an eye out for our next update.

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