Public Art: The Propeller
Also Known As: La Elice, Galati Ship Monument
Sculptor: © Mircea Roibu
Description: The memorial is the celebration of the 80-year anniversary of the Galati shipyard. The 5m high memorial includes an enormous propeller. The INETOF propeller was produced at the Galati shipyard was based on state-of-the-art Japanese technology. The propellers were considered groundbreaking and were purchased by Germany, Italy, UK, USA, Russia, France and China. This real scale model propeller was found on the scrap and is probably the last example in existence.
Date Unveiled: 1974
Location: The Propeller memorial can be found on Upper Danube Promenade, Galati, Romania.
80 Ani De la infiintarea
Translation- 80 years since the establishment Workplace naval Galati
Controversy: In 1974, the Communist regime made a massive investment in the shipbuilding industry. Some locals argue that “The propeller” is a communist monument erected in honor of the working class who built ships.
Background: Shipbuilding at Galati began in the late 18th century. Mostly small boats such as longboats, canoes, and sailboats. It wasn’t until 1893 when a local known as Fernic bought the Naval Mechanical Factory and renamed it Șantierul Naval Fernic Galați (“Fernic Shipyard Galați”) that real shipbuilding began. Suddenly the town of Galati was producing naval and civilian ships. During the Interwar years the Galati Shipyard became one of the largest industrial companies in Romania. During WWII the yard was building submarines and destroyers.
The 70s saw the rise of communism regime, who threw massive amounts of money into the industry. When the regime fell in 1989 there was virtually nothing left of the shipbuilding industry. Over 30 boats were left unsold in the shipyard. A lifeline was found in 1994 when the Dutch Damen Group took control. They now produce small patrol boats to large tankers.
Reference: Galati News, Missing technological brands that prided the Romanians in communism, byCostel Crangan, 14 May 2016.