Published on : Monday, July 26, 2021
Coming out from the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, Hans-Juergen Fercher has just returned from his fourth dive to where heaps of 2,500-year-old wine pots 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,” said the 48-year-old psychiatrist. “It makes it special and unique,” he added.
The museum underneath the waves at Peristera, a rocky projection off the island of Alonissos, opened in 2020, although the site wasn’t active until now due to Covid-19 restrictions.
With Greece reopening 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 Euros ($110) a dive, which is about 50 percent more than the cost of a regular recreational scuba outing for a guided tour of a site, which was once safeguarded by professional archaeologists.
More wrecks have been discovered in the area, the middle of the country’s largest marine reserve, with hope that more such museums will open in the future.
Due to the depth and technical difficulty of the dive, only qualified divers are allowed to visit the wreck of a ship that was delivering wine and other goods when it broke down, around the fifth century BC.
Tags: underwater museum