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The “Schengen ship” returns where it belongs

The “Schengen ship” returns where it belongs

Visitors to the village could soon board the ship where the Schengen Agreement was signed

The historic ship “Princess Marie-Astrid” where the Schengen agreement was signed in 1985 will become a permanent space for culture and meetings, based in the Luxembourgish village of Schengen. This is what the Minister of Tourism of Luxembourg Lex Delles and the Mayor of Schengen Michel Gloden announced at a press conference on 6 May.

Enhancing the tourist attractiveness of Schengen

The famous vessel, which in 1985 became the centre stage of European integration, will soon make its return in the borderline municipality for good. This will happen as the Grand-Duchy decided to buy it and open it to the public as a meeting and culture space.

At yesterday’s conference, it was explained that following the purchase of the vessel, it will be brought back to the village and docked permanently in the Moselle river, next to the Schengen museum. On "Princess Marie-Astrid", it is planned to set up an exhibition and performance space adaptable to many forms of art and various activities.

Since 14 June 1985, and thanks to the Agreement between France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and West Germany, the village has become a symbol of free movement and the abolishment of European borders within the Schengen Area. The site has even received the “European heritage” label from the European Commission, as it conveys the values, the history and the cultural heritage of the Union.

However, for several years, the ship has been known as "MS Regensburg", navigating on the Danube with tourists. Now, in its new home, it will complement the cultural heritage of the European village by enhancing its value as a remembrance tourist destination. The project is worth 5,81 million euros and is set for completion in 2025, as informed by the authorities.

With this investment, they believe that the acquisition will not only enhance the tourist offer of Schengen but will underline the important role of Luxembourg in the process of European integration. The latter is a key element of the identity of Luxembourg and will be further promoted by tourism.

It is important to me to develop remembrance tourism in order to raise awareness of the history and common values of Europe. The acquisition and transformation into a meeting place of the boat on which the Schengen Agreement was signed play a crucial role in this context,” explained Minister Delles quoted in a municipal press release.

The return of the 'MS Princesse Marie-Astrid' boat will become a very important additional attraction for the Moselle region and particularly for the municipality of Schengen, symbol of the cradle of Europe without borders,” added Mayor Gloden.

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