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Schengen Agreement ship - coming home to Luxembourg

Schengen Agreement ship - coming home to Luxembourg

The Municipality of Schengen bought the “MS Princess Marie Astrid” with plans to turn it into a museum

Yesterday, a Luxembourgish delegation including the Minister of Tourism, Lex Delles, and the mayor of the city of Schengen, Michel Gloden, went to Regensburg in Germany to buy the old boat "RS Regensburg". The Regensberg, previously called “MS Princess Marie Astrid” is the vessel where the historic Schengen Agreement was signed on 14 June 1985.

Luxembourg authorities announced they will purchase the floating landmark back on 6 May and turn it into a museum and cultural space, celebrating European heritage, by docking it next to the Schengen Museum on the river Moselle.

From ferrying tourists on the Danube to a prestigious new appointment

Luxembourg spent 630,000 euros to acquire the “MS Regensburg” from the Bavarian shipping company Regensburger Personen-Schifffahrt GmbH. The riverboat, where one of the founding documents for the European Union, as we know it today, was signed, was unpretentiously ferrying tourists up and down the Danube.

After the purchase, the state will invest over 5.81 million euros in refurbishing the boat, making it a floating museum. This includes the construction of its own special dock near the existing European Schengen Museum with the project's end date set in 2025.

The boat will be renamed “MS Princess Marie Astrid”, with city authorities planning to transform it into an adaptable art performance space, alongside the museum exhibition that will find a home on the floating piece of history.

Furthermore, authorities plan to maintain the ship's seaworthiness, so that it can travel across Europe on special occasions. The main idea behind the whole deal is to transform the city of Schengen into a culturally significant location - a symbol of unified Europe.

The mayor of Schengen Michel Golden was quoted in a press release, saying: “The transformation of the ship as a meeting place and the enhancement of the role of the Grand Duchy in the process of European integration offer an excellent opportunity for remembrance tourism. The official acquisition of the former ship 'MS Princesse Marie Astrid' is a first important step in this context. "

In 1985, five countries signed the Schengen Treaty: Belgium, France, West Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. This became the document laying the foundation of the free movement of people in Europe. Now, with 26 countries part of the agreement, the Schengen Area is one of the biggest borderless regions in the world and a testament to European integration.

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