The Exhibition Preserve Vasa relates the story of Vasa’s conservation, and the present measures to preserve the ship for the future.
Vasa lay in the grimy waters outside Stockholm for 333 years before she was salvaged in 1961, and began her career as a museum item. After all these years in the water the ship was attacked by bacteria, and rust had spread throughout the hull from all the iron objects that had wasted away. Vasa was slowly decomposing, and is still doing so today, owing to a number of different factors.
The exhibition describes the high-tech fight against natural forces which is ongoing, and all that Vasa has gone through, since capsizing in 1628. What happened at the bottom of the sea? What happened when she was taken up? What does the future hold? What do the scientists say? A time-line shows the work on research and conservation. This time line has no end and fades out to leave room for new discoveries and activities in the future.
The Vasa museum receives over a million visitors each year which exposes the ship to great stress. The museum is conducting world-leading research into how to counteract these decomposition processes. The ideal solution would be to place the Vasa in a dark oxygen-free room. But should one salvage a cultural treasure of world class which no one can see?