May 21th 2024 | 1:22


The emblematic Athletic barge returns to the Itsasmuseum dry dock

The emblematic barge returns to the Itsasmuseum dry dock for restoration

Maria Jose Gonzalez

April 16, 2024 | 8:30 a.m.

The Athletic barge, after celebrating the Cup in Bilbao, returns to the Itsasmuseum for maintenance and conservation tasks

The barge, symbol of victories of Athletic Club de Bilbao, made an emotional journey last Thursday, starting from Getxo to the heart of Bilbao, in an event that marked not only a sporting, but also a cultural milestone for the city. This ship, which has witnessed and participated in the team's most significant celebrations, was extracted from the water using a high-tonnage crane, demonstrating not only its imposing structure but also the meticulous planning that its handling requires.

The process of extraction and maintenance of the barge reveals the complexity and logistical precision necessary to preserve this heritage

On Thursday, the barge sailed through the estuary at high tide, a crucial detail to facilitate its movement given its considerable size and shallow draft. The boat, which weighs approximately 80 tons and measures 18,5 meters in length and 8,5 meters in width, is a historical piece that has remained active until relatively recently, until 2013, in the Port of Bilbao.

Preserving this ship not only involves physical challenges, but also emotional ones. The barge is not just an object; It is a symbol of the identity and fighting spirit of Athletic Club and its fans. Every restoration and every departure of the barge from the dry dock to celebrate a victory becomes a city event, which brings together thousands of people along the estuary, showing the passion and fervor that football and its history can awaken.

The barge departure ceremony is a meticulous ritual, which begins days before with the preparation of the boat, ensuring that each component is in perfect condition for navigation. This process includes everything from checking the hull to adjusting the engines and decorating the boat with the team colors, demonstrating the community's commitment to its team and its history.

Beyond the celebration, it symbolizes the resilience and shared history of Bilbao and Athletic

The restoration of the barge not only seeks to preserve its physical structure, but also keeping alive a tradition that has been fundamental in the construction of local identity. Every detail of its maintenance is carefully considered to ensure that it can continue to participate in future celebrations, a practice that has become an essential part of the city's culture.

This focus on conservation reflects a broader trend towards valuing cultural heritage in Bilbao, where ancient structures and practices are integrated and valued in the modern context. The barge, more than a means of transportation, is a vehicle of stories, emotions and celebrations that connects generations of Bilbao residents with their past and with the future victories they look forward to.

Thus, as the barge returns to the dry dock, it is not only preparing for routine maintenance, but also getting ready to continue being a vital part of the traditions that define Bilbao and Athletic Club. In every detail of its conservation, the love for sport, history and the community that every Bilbao resident carries in their heart is reflected., ensuring that the barge can continue to be not only a witness, but also a protagonist of the future celebrations that are to come.

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