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Basque whaling operations

16th-century Basque galleon to be resurrected

02/19/2013

The replica galleon is expected to travel between European cities during 2016 to mark the Basque city of Donostia-San Sebastian's year as European cultural capital.

  • The San Juan is used by the UN to promote the preservation of the world’s underwater heritage.

    The San Juan is used by the UN to promote the preservation of the world’s underwater heritage.

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A 16th-century Basque whaling galleon will be resurrected and sail once again off the Basque coast, travel between European cities in 2016 to mark the Basque city of Donostia-San Sebastian's year as European cultural capital. One year later, it will set sail for Labrador and other East Coast destinations in 2017 to help spread awareness of the deep historical connection between Canada and the Basque Country.

According to a report by The Windsor Star, a team of Basque maritime heritage experts will construct a full-scale, seaworthy replica of the 450-year-old San Juan as a "floating tribute to the whaling crews that, for several decades during the 16th century, transported millions of barrels of whale oil to Europe from the future Canada".

The San Juan is the oldest shipwreck ever found in Canada and one of the most important in the world, a sunken relic from the Age of Discovery that symbolizes the early spread of European civilization and commerce to the New World.

Today, Red Bay is a national historic site. An image of the San Juan is used by the United Nations as its logo to promote the preservation and celebration of the world's underwater heritage.

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