The company Dalmont was selected for the renovation works in the amount of 46.8 million HRK, which are slated to commence in 2019. Upon the reconstruction and equipment of the ship, the Galeb will become a cultural venue for a permanent museum exhibit, occasional exhibitions, a cinema and creative workshops; it will also have a commercial purpose, housing a hostel, bar/restaurant and a souvenir shop in a total of 5,565 m². The museum and public area of the ship will cover approximately 4000 square meters, with only 1000 square meters designated for providing accommodation and catering services, the latter of which will be concessioned.
The reconstruction of the ship Galeb and the Sugar Refinery Palace is an integral part of the EU project “Tourism Valorisation of Representative Industrial Heritage Monuments in Rijeka”. This project has received grants in the amount of 68.9 million HRK from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion.
Nikolina Jelavić Mitrović, winner of the Stilleto EMYA (The European Museum of the Year Award) for the Vukovar City Museum and the Croatian Design Exhibition 1516 Award given by the Croatian Designers Association for the Sinj Alka Museum in the category of Spatial and Graphic Intervention and Systems, is working on the permanent exhibit.
The Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia issued an order on 10 October 2006, declaring the ship a cultural asset. Following reconstruction, the ship will be incorporated into the Rijeka City Museum.
The project of repurposing the ship into a museum ship will not affect its structural integrity or alter the basic character of the area. The museum ship will be made handicapped accessible and adapted to blind persons with tactile paving. Also planned is the inclusion of special points in the exhibit, such as Braille plates, hearing stations, relief plates depicting select illustrations and tactile exhibits.
The concept of holding permanent and temporary exhibits on the Galeb was devised with the goal of making the museum exhibit appealing to the widest group of visitors of all ages. The permanent exhibit pertains to the ship Galeb and its remaining preserved original structure. The designers and curators have intervened on the site in order to showcase and preserve the symbolic value of the ship. In addition to the ship’s infrastructure, the permanent exhibit will be enriched by exhibitions aimed at displaying the dynamic history of the Galeb and of Rijeka.
The ship will remain moored in the Port of Rijeka, near Molo Longo, for the duration of the project. It will become a notable attraction that will enhance the cultural tourism offering of Rijeka.
Some of the furniture from the Galeb has already been restored and is currently housed in the Rijeka City Museum. Upon completion of the ship’s reconstruction, it will be returned to the Galeb.
The museum holdings will consist of all the existing ship equipment, illustrative material, such as photos and videos, copies of documents regarding the construction and history of the ship and the archives of articles, books and other texts pertaining to the Galeb. The exhibit will comprise a plethora of interactive content.
Visitors will be able to look around the fully restored living quarters, such as Tito and Jovanka’s apartment, the common salon, guest apartments, main salon, dining room, large guest salon, closet and bedrooms.