Hong Kong, Chile maritime museums sign co-operative pact

City institution plans partnerships with counterparts to herald sea-going history

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 June, 2013, 8:18am

Hong Kong Maritime Museum has set sail on a voyage to develop partnerships with countries that share a rich sea-going history, starting with Chile.

In a symbolic move seen as a transpacific handshake, the museum signed a co-operation agreement on Friday with the National Maritime Museum in the port city of Valparaiso.

As part of the deal, the museum at Central's Pier 8 got a present in the form of a model ship, the General Baquedano.

The vessel, Chile's first naval training ship, was launched at the turn of the 20th century and sailed into Hong Kong in 1900.

Chile's consul in Hong Kong, Mario Artaza, said the memorandum of understanding was about trust between two old friends.

"We're two economies of the Pacific and we're not unknown to each other, and in today's world scenario, you must work alongside those you really trust and understand," he said.

Hong Kong Maritime Museum director Richard Wesley said the deal would cover staff exchanges and collection loans between the two museums.

The museum plans to sign similar deals with Macau's maritime museum and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

A guest at Friday's signing was the secretary general of the Chilean Navy, Rear Admiral Humberto Ramirez, 53, who said the pact was also about staying connected despite the distance.