A selection of objects that were used by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau will be exhibited to the public in Malta in 2021, when major structural works at the Malta Maritime Museum would have been concluded.
Thanks to a loan agreement between the Cousteau Foundation and Heritage Malta, a wooden rib taken from the original vessel Calypso is also going to be donated to Heritage Malta to become part of Malta’s national collection.
Such a display will also allow the museum to tackle topics such as sea pollution and other aspects related to marine life and the importance of the oceans for life on earth. This is another step in making the museum relevant to modern-day issues while at the same time connecting Malta's maritime heritage with that of the rest of the world.
Captain Cousteau had a deep fascination with the sea and a strong desire to reveal unknown and inaccessible places to the general public. Never satisfied with the length of time he could spend underwater, he continually sought new ways how to extend the duration of the dive.
A renowned ocean explorer, co-inventor of the Aqua-Lung, and a pioneer in underwater investigations, Captain Cousteau created an interesting link with Malta when he used the ship Calypso to accompany him throughout his adventures. Originally used as a mine-sweeper, then as a ferry crossing between Malta and Gozo, Captain Cousteau's Calypso was modified into an oceanographic vessel, endowed with instruments for diving and scientific research. In 1996, Calypso was accidentally rammed by a barge and sunk in the port of Singapore. However, the ship was recovered in order to be refitted.
Cousteau produced over 120 films and more than 50 books. Yet probably, he is best known for his TV series ‘The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau’ which introduced intriguing visuals of sea creatures, coral reefs, sunken treasure, ancient shipwrecks, diving saucers and undersea houses to a worldwide audience.