Monday, 5 September 2022

Interreg Connecting Cruise 2022: Replica of Roman Ship Sails into Vukovar

September 5, 2022 – Even though the summer is not yet completely gone, and many tourists are still spending their days at the beautiful beaches of the Adriatic Sea, September is a special month all around Croatia. In Vukovar, a replica of a Roman ship sails in on Tuesday the 6th of September to tell stories of the Roman times.

With events popping up left and right, celebrating wine, movement, foodart, and a lot more, you will find something to do wherever you go. Among them, the coast of the Danube and Vukovar shine yet again to show that eastern Slavonia is, in fact, full of life 365 days a year.

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Interreg: The ship's route and programme

As part of the international Interreg project Living Danube Limes, on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, a replica of a Roman ship from the 4th century will sail into Vukovar. The ship started its journey on the Danube Limes on July 15, 2022, in Germany, and after having sailed through Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, it arrived in Croatia. The crew, made up of international volunteers, has sailed to Batina, Aljmaš, and Dalj in Croatia on the way to Vukovar, and after a two-day stay in Vukovar, the ship will continue its journey towards Ilok and further down the Danube to the Black Sea. The Croatian partner of the project is the Institute of Archaeology, which, together with the City Museum of Vukovar and the Vučedol Culture Museum, participated in the organisation of this event in Vukovar.

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Vukovar Municipal Museum: The programme in Vukovar - the arrival of the ship on Tuesday, educational workshops, lectures, and a pub quiz on Wednesday

On this occasion, the Vukovar Municipal Museum prepared various content for all ages, from workshops for children and adults, and lectures on the topic of making a ship replica to a museum pub quiz. It should be pointed out that the replica of the ship will be available for viewing by all interested visitors on both days. They invite all citizens to join in and experience the atmosphere of the Roman era in the 21st century.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Monday, 5 September 2022

Government Measures Rescued Hotels, Can They Rescue Croatian Farmers?

September the 5th, 2022 - Croatian Government measures rapidly introduced for those most negatively affected by the global coronavirus pandemic managed to see many hotels keep their heads above water throughout that unprecedented crisis. Croatian farmers are now seeking the same aid for the agriculture sector, battered by a severe drought.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes, due to the unprecedented drought and owing to the impact of energy prices on production costs, including the problem of lack of fodder, Croatian farmers are rightly fearful of an extremely uncertain autumn. Several counties across the nation have declared a natural disaster, and the agricultural sector is increasingly relying on the government's autumn aid package.

The board of directors of the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) said after last week's session that it believes that the government will now help suffering Croatian farmers as it did with hotels and inns after the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic back in 2020.

''Without the powers that be stepping firmly in, long-term consequences are likely, not only for this part of the economy, but indirectly for others as well,'' warned Mladen Jakopovic, president of the HPK.

The Chamber had input calculations made in certain segments of production, and Jakopovic says that this will show the losses suffered by Croatian farmers and the rest of the domestic agriculture sector. Representatives of the Chamber recently presented some proposals to Minister Marija Vuckovic and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, from earlier advance payments of subsidies and cancellation of leases for agricultural land and the gradual abolition of blue diesel. On Friday, at the opening of Viroexpo in Virovitica, the Prime Minister said that the government will "take care that Croatian farmers and fishermen get a special place in the new package".

Croatian farmers say they've never experienced a drought like this one, and the same is true for other European farmers across the continent. Even in the United Kingdom, known for its relatively pleasant summers and plenty of rain, the situation has been bizarre. The very concerning data from the so-called dashboards of the European Drought Observatory also confirm that what we've experienced this year is unusual.

The drought hit the spring crops the hardest of all, and although the drop in yields also depends on the area's micro location, both corn and potato crops suffered the most, but barley, sunflower, and wheat also had significantly lower yields. The combination of drought and intermittent heat waves also caused the forced ripening of various fruits and vegetables. At the same time, the movement of gas prices, announcements of an imminent increase in the price of electricity and more expensive artificial fertiliser make this autumn's harvest uncertain, although the weather conditions are currently encouraging for the sowing of rapeseed, for example. The situation is no less burdensome in animal husbandry, either. All production cycles that take place within closed spaces are more exposed to rapidly rising energy prices.

Along with the weak corn crop, there is also the problem of corn silage, which "almost doesn't exist", according to the head of HPK. Some herders from Lika complained that they had already started their animals on consuming "winter food" in the middle of August. In some neighbouring countries, cattle have also started to be sold for these reasons. This is precisely why the recent drop in meat prices on European stock markets, especially beef, is attributed to this, but they could go up again with the winter months.

''There are expectations of weakening demand due to expensive energy and fears of recession, as well as the pressure of quantities from the Black Sea on prices and difficult logistics. Then we've got the problem of droughts acrpss Europe and Asia, not to mention the constant risk of a new escalation of the conflict in Ukraine,'' pointed out Robert Jurisic from the company S-Grain BI, which specialises in agricultural commodities.

Due to the high price of gas as a result of spiralling inflationary pressures, a number of fertiliser producers across Europe have announced they'll soon stop being made. (the Norwegian Yara, the German SKW Piesteritz and BASF, the Polish Azoty). The problem of energy products is being constantly and intensively dealt with within the European Commission (EC), which is now strongly considering the possibility of freezing prices. The government's package is expected sooner than usual, and whether Croatian farmers will be satisfied with their share of these billions will be known soon.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business and politics sections.

Monday, 5 September 2022

Croatia Team Announced for Denmark and Austria Nations League Matches

September 5, 2022 - Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić has announced the list of players for the September Denmark and Austria Nations League matches.

After four rounds, Croatia holds second place in the group with seven points, and with two wins, they would secure first place and thus a place in the Nations League final tournament. Croatia can reach the "Final Four" in other ways, and it needs a point to avoid the last place that leads to League B, reports HNS

Croatia will host Denmark at Maksimir on September 22 at 8:45 pm and play against Austria three days later at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna (8:45 pm). Tickets for both matches can be found HERE.

The 2018 World Cup finalists will gather on September 19 in Zagreb, and coach Dalić has invited 25 players with seven potential call-ups. 

"We still have two weeks until we reunite, and during that period, we will intensively monitor the reserve players and see who else we could call up. Also, in agreement with the U-21 national team coach, Igor Bišćan, we will consider whether any of the players invited here join the young national team for the crucial match against Denmark," said coach Dalić.

"As is usual at the start of the season, we have certain challenges - some have injury problems, some players have changed clubs, and some have changed status within the team. Clearly, this list largely reflects our thoughts ahead of the World Cup, but we have more than two months until then and, of course, the fight for certain positions is still open," said the coach.

"We did a great job with victories in Denmark and France; these were performances that boost confidence and confirm the high potential and quality of our national team. With these results, we put ourselves in a position to secure the final tournament, which would be an outstanding result in such a competition, but we know that it will not be easy. We saw at home against Austria what it means if we are not at one hundred percent from the first minute - the only way is maximum togetherness and compactness. We're going step by step, we value both opponents, but we believe in ourselves, and of course, we're going for two victories," coach Dalić is optimistic.

"First of all, given the calendar this year, we must see these matches as preparation for the World Cup. Therefore, we want to see a compact, competitive, and ready Croatia, and at the same time gain knowledge about what we still need to improve before Qatar," concluded Dalić.

Croatia squad

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Lovre Kalinić, Ivica Ivušić

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Borna Barišić, Josip Juranović, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanišić, Martin Erlić, Josip Šutalo

Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pašalić, Nikola Vlašić, Lovro Majer, Luka Sučić

Strikers: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Bruno Petković, Mislav Oršić, Ante Budimir, Marko Livaja

Reserves: Josip Brekalo, Duje Ćaleta-Car, Luka Ivanušec, Marin Pongračić, Kristijan Jakić, Antonio Mirko Čolak, Nediljko Labrović

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 5 September 2022

Art Camp, Workshops for Ukrainian Teachers and Artists Held on Mali Brijun

September the 5th, 2022 - The gorgeous Mali Brijun has been playing host to Ukrainian artists and teachers who will use what they learned here in helping Ukrainian children cope with the terrible trauma of war upon return to their ravaged homeland.

As Morski writes, about thirty Ukrainians, mostly artists, teachers and pedagogues, arrived at Mali Brijun recently. By attending various music and movement workshops, they learned how to deal with war trauma of their own, and they will also apply their newly acquired skills when working with Ukrainian children when they return home to their country.

Everyday alarms were replaced by music, and art in general has become a refuge for Ukrainian children and their parents.

''This was an incredible experience for us, we had the opportunity to learn not only from a mentor but also from each other, to be here on Mali Brijun together, we'll take the energy from this place back home with us,'' said Svetlana Bazanova, a Ukrainian drama teacher.

''It's nice that we could come and be here, it's also important to me professionally as this experience will connect me with the whole community,'' emphasised Jana Zelenska, another drama pedagogue. Most of the Ukrainian families who have arrived in Istria are from war-torn Kharkiv. In a few days, they will return to their homeland and pass on the knowledge they have learned while spending time on beautiful Mali Brijun to their colleagues.

''Through art therapy, we learn how to deal with emotions, how to help ourselves to deal with fear and trauma, and how to help others, especially children,'' emphasised Veronika Skolarova, the project manager.

''It took us some time to build trust, a safe circle inside, but as the days progressed, people relaxed more and more and we all did more and more,'' said Irena Magas, a music therapist. This praiseworthy project was conceived by Lenka Udovicki and Nigel Osbourne from the Ulysses Theatre.

''We can do some simple things through art. Music and movement can regulate breathing, singing and emotions,'' pointed out Nigel Osbourne, who is a composer and a music therapist. After the workshops held on Mali Brijun, art therapy education is set to continue back home in Ukraine, HRT Magazin reports.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 5 September 2022

Croatian Red Cross - Beach Clean Ups and Blood Pressure Readings

September the 5th, 2022 - The Croatian Red Cross recently teamed up with the administration of Mljet National Park and the Mljet Volunteer Centre, where not only did they organise beach clean ups, but they also measured people's blood pressure.

As Morski writes, as part of the cooperation of the Croatian Red Cross Dubrovnik branch, the Mljet National Park, and the Mljet Volunteer Centre, on September the 3rd, volunteers of the Croatian Red Cross cleaned the stunning Grabovo cove of rubbish, including various pieces of floating debris of different origins, and prepared part of the track for the Mljet Trail race.

The aforementioned trail race will be held on October the 8th in this truly stunning Dalmatian national park which attracts visitors of all kinds from far and wide each and every year without fail.

As part of the same campaign held within Mljet National Park, more precisely in Babin Polje and Pomena, the measurement of blood pressure and blood sugar was organised for both residents and visitors alike.

The volunteers spent the weekend at the Mljet Volunteer Centre, where after their volunteer work was finished, in the company of employees of Mljet National Park, they will visit numerous places and take in some of the sights of the Republic of Croatia's heavily visited southernmost and greenest national park.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 5 September 2022

Despite Drought, Istrian Grape Harvest Promises Quality Crop

September the 5th, 2022 - The Istrian grape harvest is promising a high quality crop despite the long period of drought which has threatened Croatian fruit and vegetable production up and down the country so far this summer.

As Morski writes, the Istrian grape harvest has begun, and despite the damage caused by the prolonged drought, the grapes appear to be healthy and the yields, although slightly lower, are of good quality as the recent rains have replenished the berries and mitigated most of the losses.

''I think that the drought has shown its effects and left traces of about 10 percent, we've calculated that there will be less grapes,'' said Moreno Coronica, a winemaker from Umag.

The Markezic family will harvest the usual eight to nine tonnes of grapes per hectare from their vines spanning the rolling hills of Momjan. The first bunches for the production of sparkling wine were harvested about ten days ago, and now Malvasia is being harvested for still wines.

''It's not hard work. It's not really heavy going, it's even a kind of relaxation. There's enough sugar in the berries, the acids are low, which is ideal for Malvasia. Everything is right as far as the grapes are concerned, in terms of both freshness and the sugars. So, we will get a wine with around 13 percent alcohol, freshness around 5.5 and 6 percent acidity,'' explained Marino Markezeic from Momjan.

While the Istrian grape harvest is going on and appears to be quite successful, offering a very welcome breath of fresh air to growers, other plantations of various fruit and vegetables haven't been so lucky in other parts of the country, particularly in Dalmatia and as far as olives are concerned. Inflation is set to push prices up even more, with consumers likely needing to fork out more to purchase these top Croatian products.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 5 September 2022

SuperSport HNL Round 8: Hajduk Comes from Behind with 5:1 Win, Rijeka's Struggle Continues

September 5, 2022 - The 8th round of the SuperSport HNL was played from September 2 to 4, 2022. The biggest match of this round was the derby between Dinamo and Rijeka, where we witnessed Rijeka's struggle this season continue as they sit at the bottom of the table. Here is our SuperSport HNL round 8 recap. 

Dinamo v. Rijeka (3:1)

Dinamo and Rijeka opened the 8th round on Friday, September 2, 2022, at Maksimir Stadium in front of 5,894 fans. 

Lauritsen scored for 1:0 Dinamo in the 28th minute, just two minutes before Spikic scored for 2:0. It was 3:0 for Dinamo in the 60th minute when Orsic scored his second goal. While all hope was lost for Rijeka by now, Vlasenko found the back of the net in the 84th minute for the final 3:1. 

 

Dinamo is currently in first place with 22 points, while Rijeka is in last place with 5 points and one game in hand. 

Varazdin v. Gorica (2:1)

Varazdin and Gorica met on Saturday, September 3, 2022, in front of 2,263 fans in Velika Gorica. 

Teklic assisted Elezi for 1:0 Varazdin in the 10th minute, while the same player scored in the 43rd minute for 2:0 at the half. Juric came back with a Gorica goal for 2:1 in the 61st minute. Sego was shown a straight red card in the 74th minute, while Juric was shown his second yellow in the 3rd minute of stoppage time. 

 

Varazdin is currently in 4th place with 12 points, while Gorica is in 9th with 5 points and a game in hand.

Osijek v. Sibenik (1:1)

Osijek and Sibenik met on Saturday, September 3, 2022, at City Garden Stadium in front of 2,944 fans. 

Kleinheisler put Osijek ahead for 1:0 in the 38th minute. Burgui equalized in the 78th minute for the final 1:1. 

 

Osijek is currently in 6th place with 9 points, while Sibenik is in 7th with 8. 

Istra 1961 v. Lokomotiva (1:2)

Istra and Lokomotiva met on Sunday, September 4, 2022, at Aldo Drosina Stadium in Pula. 

Pivaric put Lokomotiva ahead for 0:1 in the 24th minute. Istra's goal in the 36th minute was called offside after consulting VAR. Gorican scored for 0:2 in the 66th minute. Erceg got one goal back for Istra for the final 1:2 in the 81st minute. 

 

Istra is currently in 8th place with 8 points, while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 9. 

Hajduk v. Slaven Belupo (5:1)

Hajduk and Slaven Belupo closed the 8th round on Sunday, September 5, 2022, at Poljud Stadium. 

Hoxha put Belupo in the lead just two minutes before halftime for 0:1. Mlakar scored the equalizer for Hajduk in the 51st minute, before Hoxha was shown his second yellow in the 56th minute and thus forced Belupo to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. Colina scored for 2:1 Hajduk in the 60th minute and Atanasov for 3:1 in the 77th. Nikola Kalinic scored Hajduk's final two goals - in the 81st and 3rd minute of stoppage time for the final 5:1. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 3rd place with 12 points and two games in hand, while Belupo is in 2nd with 14 points. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Average Croat Moves Out of Family Home at 33, Only Portuguese Worse

September 4, 2022 - According to Eurostat, the average Croat moves out of their parents' home only at 33.3. Only in Portugal is the number even higher, with some 3 months difference.

As Poslovni reports, young people in Croatia, along with the Portuguese, leave their parents' "nest" the latest. They will leave the family home, on average, only at the age of 33.3. Only the Portuguese who live with their parents three months longer are worse, according to the Eurostat survey for 2021.

Unlike Croats, Portuguese, Slovaks, Greeks, and Bulgarians, countries where young people leave their parents' home on average only at 30 or older, young Swedes will leave at the age of 19. In Finland, on average, at 21.2, in Denmark at 21.3, and Estonia at 22.7.

Eurostat statistics show drastic differences between countries in leaving the family home among young people. Thus, in most countries of Western and Northern Europe, on average, young people leave their parents in their early or mid-20s. On the other hand, in southern and eastern countries, this average rises to the late 20s or early 30s.

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Nikola Baketa, a research associate from the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb, states that there are several reasons why young Croats leave their parents' homes late, but the main ones are economic.

"There are several aspects. The first is employment. Young people are more likely to work on a fixed-term basis and are paid less, which affects the safety and security of work. In such a working relationship, it is difficult to get a loan, which is necessary for buying real estate", says Baketa, adding that the purchase of real estate is another problem that causes young people in Croatia to leave their parents’ homes only after 30.

"Real estate and rental prices in Croatia are high. In addition, the rent is irregular. In Croatia, there are no long-term rental policies or affordable city apartments that would make it easier for young people to become independent", he points out.

And the authorities do not seem to care, as demonstrated by the fact that since 2017, when the National Youth Program expired, they have not bothered to bring a new one. That would at least declaratively show how the state plans to ease the position of this very heterogeneous group.

The consequences are becoming apparent, as fewer and fewer people remain in Croatia, and it is the young who most often leave the country.

Interestingly, statistics show that men in the European Union leave the family home later than women. On average, they are 27.4 years old, and women are 25.5 years old. This trend is present in all countries, say European statisticians.

Baketa assumes that this is because women get married and leave their homes earlier. But as he points out, this is only an assumption.

For more, make sure to check out our Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Retired General Ivan Cermak Purchases Russian Villa in Opatija

September the 4th, 2022 - Retired Croatian General Ivan Cermak has purchased a villa in Opatija which was owned by Russians. He made the purchase this summer, and it totalled 12.5 million euros.

As Morski writes, Ivan Cermak has bought one of the most beautiful villas on the entire Opatija Riviera, Villa Lenac, from its formerly Russian owners. In an interview with Index Investigation, he confirmed the purchase, but showed little willingness to discuss any numbers or prices. However, Index investigations (istrage) then came into possession of the sales contract, which shows the price of almost 94 million kuna for the villa located at the entrance to Volosko.

It is believed that Ivan Cermak probably paid for the now ex-Russian villa in cash

The previous Russian owners bought the villa way back in 2009 for 5.5 million euros and then renovated it, it spans about 500 square metres, but the complex itself covers 4420 square metres. Part of it is located within a dense pine forest, and it is located on the cape itself, with its own access to the sea and beach. The villa was most likely paid for in cash by Ivan Cermak because there is no loan agreement to speak of.

Villa Lenac was the former residence of JNA general Mirko Lenac, and up until 2009, the Lenac and Cosic families both used that villa, before selling the building to Russian investors. Back at theattime, it was written that the buyer was a Russian national named Ljudmila Rovenska, who purchased the villa through the company Keldan d.o.o. As such, Keldan d.o.o. bought the building and paid an additional two million kuna to the City of Opatija in order to get their hands on a garden plot as well. All together, along with the renovation of the villa, the entire thing cost a little more than 10 million euros.

"It's true, I bought it, but I wouldn't want to sit here and talk about the price"

''I wouldn't want to sit here now and discuss the price, because the price isn't being discussed publicly anyway,'' retired general Ivan Cermak told Index, adding that he is extremely satisfied with the purchase of such a property, which is about only around an hour and a half's drive from the City of Zagreb. ''I'll certainly use it more often,'' Ivan Cermak said at the end.

Although he didn't want to talk about the price, Index managed to get its hands on the villa's sales contract in which the price of 12.5 million euros was indicated, including the movables that are also on the property. It can be concluded from the purchase agreement that Ivan Cermak didn't use any sort of loan, it is also clear that he had to pay the amount within one month of signing the purchase agreement. The sales contract was signed on June the 23rd of this year, and Ivan Cermak's wife Mirjana is also the co-owner of the villa.

Who is Ivan Cermak? From an air conditioner repairman to one of the richest Croatian nationals.

Ivan Cermak was born in 1949 in the City of Zagreb, where he completed his primary and vocational education, and in the early seventies he was engaged in servicing air conditioners. In addition to servicing air conditioners, he later started doing other kinds of jobs, and he even opened a boutique and became a co-owner of The Best disco in the Jarun area of the city.

He got into doing big business back in the 90s, when he entered politics and oil trading. He joined HDZ in 1990, allegedly at the invitation of Franjo Tudjman himself, and helped them organise party rallies and similar tasks. He soon became the vice-president of the HDZ Executive Committee and Tudjman's very own advisor in Pantovcak. He was also assistant to the Minister of Defense from 1991 to 1993 under Gojko Susek, after which he moved to the position of Minister of Trade, Shipbuilding and Energy, but he didn't stay in that position for even one year.

After the Operation Storm (Oluja) was successful, and immediately after the liberation of Knin, Tudjman appointed Ivan Cermak commander of the Knin military district, where his task was to establish normal life after the end of the war operations there. However, serving that function later led him to the docks of the Hague Court. After a multi-year trial, in April 2011, Cermak was finally acquitted, according to Index investigations.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Pasman Venetian Wreck Surprises Investigating Archaeologists

September the 4th, 2022 - A Pasman Venetian wreck has investigating archaeologists scratching their heads in surprise, with an international team working on the discovery which could tell us more than we knew before about Venetian shipbuilding.

As Morski/More/HRT/Ana Marusic writes, back at the beginning of the sixties, just south of the island of Pasman, the wreck of a wooden Venetian ship was first discovered. After it was searched by many divers for various reasons, it finally had some proper scientific research put into it, which revealed a lot.

This Pasman Venetian wreck has revealed many surprises since being found. This is the wreck of a large merchant ship that once travelled the maritime route between Venice and the Orient during the late Renaissance. Back during the early 1960s, it was came upon by fishermen and local divers from the island of Murter, as reported by HRT.

Since such discoveries can't remain a secret for very long, and illegal activities are usually organised faster than scientific ones, without a doubt the site was significantly depleted before the first official insights into its potential could begin. Despite all that, it remains an extremely rich old wreck, and the first legally extracted finds were discussed by several experts.

Although work has been done on the Pasman Venetian wreck since the second half of the 1960s, only during the last decade was systematic research actually properly carried out, which brought is new exciting insights.

''For a long time, we suspected that this site was still extremely valuable. Back in 2013, we started researching a part of the site that was thought to be the bow, as if the ship had sunk on its keel and only its lower part was preserved. We realised very quickly that the ship had actually sunk on its starboard side,'' explained the head of this research, Irena Radic Rossi, PhD,.

''With enough funds, it would be possible to complete the research in a year or two, but there's no talk of that yet. The work on the site could last ten years, if we'll be able to finance it,'' added Radic Rossi. Currently, there is money for research lasting a maximum of one month only.

''In addition to the Pasman Venetian wreck's overall structure, which is fantastically preserved, which we're gradually discovering, and thanks to which we'll be able to reconstruct Venetian shipbuilding from the end of the sixteenth century - we also discovered some small finds that made us happy. We even found a seal of the Doge of Venice,'' said Radic Rossi.

Such seals reveal whose goods traveled on this vessel, raw materials for the production of paints, previously unknown forms of glassware, and various small objects were also found, and they all speak about the ship, but also the cargo and the people it once transported all that time ago. Many experts have made a valuable contribution in the international team researching the Pasman Venetian wreck, including a well known Japanese expert in photogrammetry, who has been participating in such research for years.

''We don't know much about Venetian shipbuilding, so this wreck is very important for us, in order to understand how they built vessels that carried them around the world and thus spread their power and brought wealth to the Republic of Venice,'' said Kotaro Yamafune.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

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