The ancient Greek trireme “Olympias,” a replica of the ancient warship that helped the ancient Greeks defeat the Persians in Salamis 2,500 years ago, is to embark on a tour to the US within 2013 after the successful efforts put in by Astoria resident Tom Dellis.
The Greek-American launched a NY campaign back in 2006 to bring the trireme replica to the US after it had been showcased at the London Olympics 2012. However, the display of the ancient Greek ship was cancelled for the London Games due to security issues. Dellis commented on the misunderstandings entangling the true symbolic meaning of the trireme as a symbol of the Games’ Greek origins and an icon of solidarity and peace.
Dellis’ campaign was supported by many prominent figures in the US including President Bill Clinton and was finally financially supported by International Advantage Corporation in collaboration with the Hellenic Navy and the Greek Defense Ministry.
According to AMNA information, the Olympias is scheduled to be transported to the United States, premiering with its arrival at historic York Town and beginning its tour in Norfolk and Jamestown, Virginia. It will also visit Annapolis in Maryland and then be the centerpiece of the US Navy’s 236th birthday celebration in Washington D.C. The final stop will be New York City, where the tour will finish with a send-off gala to be held on Veterans Day.
The ship’s tour will showcase the Trireme Olympias as a symbol of democracy and freedom, one of the major contributions of the Greek people to the world.
Completed in July 1987, the Olympias is 37 metres long and has a 1.3-metre draught. Its construction was based on plans drawn up by British naval architect John. F. Coates and historian J. S. Morrison. In the past, it has also been used in the 2004 Olympic Games torch relay to bring the Olympic Torch to Piraeus but, due to high maintenance costs, was put in dry dock on November 25, 2005 where it has remained ever since, technically as a part of the Battleship G. Averoff Naval Museum.