Tivat – Merchant court in Rijeka has appointed for the 20th December the court auction at which the former school shi of Yugoslavian War fleet and the state yacht of the lifetime president of SFRJ, Josip Broz Tito, – Galeb (GULL), will be sold.
The ministry of Republic of Croatia has rejected the demand of the current owner of “Galeb”, the American businessman of Greek origins, John Paul Papanikolau, to call off the original solution of the Conservational section of the Management for protection of monuments of culture in Rijeka, with which Tito’s “ship of peace” was proclaimed a cultural property and was put under a temporary state protection. By that practically the state of Croatia and its organs have the right of the precedence of purchase of “Galeb” at the auction for which already the starting price is settled – 150.000€.
The town of Rijeka and the management of the Coastal – Mountain district office have expressed the interest in buying “Galeb” and turning it into a ship – museum which would be constantly bind in the Rijeka harbor. Papanikolau objects that, and his lawyer have submitted a complaint at the decision brought by the Rijeka conservationist and with that managed to postpone the first court auction for the sales of Galeb which was supposed to be held in May. The attempt of the lawyers of Papanikolau to prevent the sales of the ship, has thwarted the Croatian ministry of culture do the former Tito’s yacht on the 20th December, as it looks like, will go into the hands of the town Rijeka as a new owner who will with that make a first step in the direction of renewal and protection of Galeb as without any doubt a great monument of history and technical culture.
The Government of Montenegro, in whose ownership Galeb came in 995, without any sentimentality has sold it in the year 2000 to Papanikolau for about 750.000 dollars, and from Boka he took it to Rijeka ship Building Company “Viktor Lenac” with the intention to, having in mind the historically rich pedigree, turn it into and exclusive mega yacht for the world jet – set. That, however, until today is not realized, and Galeb, for already 6 years, is rotting bound at the harbor in Rijeka. Papanikolau in the meantime piled the unpaid debts towards the Rijeka ship building company, agencies and seaman who preserved the ship, and which until now have surpassed the amount of 570.000 dollars, because of which the court auction of “Galeb” is appointed.
MARSAL’S SAILING RESIDENCE
Galeb started its tumultuous career in 1938 in Genoa, where it was built as a cooling – boat “Ramb III”. After the capitulation of Italy in the WW II, it is being taken over by the Germans and they turn it into an accessory miner –cruiser under the name of “Kiebitz”. While it was in Rijeka, it was sank on the 25th November 1944 by the ally aviation, and “Brodospas” (SHIPSAVING) from Split, has taken out “Kiebitz” from the sea in 1948, after which it was taken to Pula ship building company “Uljanik” where in 1952 it was thoroughly reconstructed, and it came out as a school ship of Yugoslavian War Navy under a new name – “Galeb”. Tito for the first time embarked on it in 1952 year in Podgora where from the deck of the ship he conducted an introspection of the boats in YWN. In the next 27 years “Galeb” was in Tito’s service for totally 549 days of which for 318 day the Marsal (MASHAL) was on the ship, sailing totally 86.062 nautical miles over the Adriatic and many other world seas in the famous missions of peace and friendship. Until the Tito’s death, 102 world statesmen stayed on “Galeb”.
– Galeb is 117 meters long and 15, 13 m wide, and its displacement is 5.754 tones. With the speed of 17 knots it is moved by a two “fiat” diesel engines of totally 7.200 horse powers. The curiosity is that Italians, at one point, proud at the engines which were inside the Galeb since the launching of a ship in 1938, have offered to SFRJ to take them off the ship and expose them in the “FIAT” museum in Torino. In return, they offered to build an entirely new, modern, school ship, but the Yugoslavs have refused that smoothly.