Today, after 16 years, this important historical piece returns to this historical heritage center of the Chilean Navy for its conservation and subsequent enhancement in its exhibition.

On March 14, 1915, in Cumberland Bay, of the Juan Fernández Archipelago, the German light cruiser S.M.S “Dresden”, was sunk by order of its commander, Frizt Lüdecke, after being attacked by the English ships “Glasgow”, “Kent” and “Orama”, in the framework of World War I.

It is in this context, that during the morning of this Tuesday, March 14, and to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the sinking of the German ship off the coast of Chile, in the premises of the National Maritime Museum (MMN) and, with the presence of Her Excellency Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chile, Irmgard Maria Fellner, of the Commander in Chief of the Navy, Admiral Juan Andrés De la Maza, of the Undersecretary of Cultural Heritage and President of the Council of National Monuments, Carolina Pérez, of naval authorities, civilians, descendants of the crew of the cruiser S.M.S. “Dresden” and representatives of the German community, was delivered in a solemn ceremony, to the Director of the MMN, Rear Admiral Andrés Rodrigo, from the original bell that was rescued from the wreck of the ship 17 years ago.

It should be remembered that, in February 2006, after a joint dive by Chilean and German divers, the bell, weighing 144 kilos, was rescued from the aforementioned bay, where the remains of the cruise ship are located. In 2007, as a symbol of good relations between Chile and Germany, the bell was given on loan to the German government for restoration and subsequent exhibition at the Military Historical Museum of the Federal Armed Forces in Dresden, Germany.

Today, after 16 years, this important historical piece returns to this historical heritage center of the Chilean Navy for its conservation and subsequent enhancement in its exhibition.

In this regard, Ambassador Fellner pointed out that, “The bell is a symbol of good relations between Chile and Germany; and it is also an example of how memory can be a quantum leap for two countries because for 15 years, Chileans and Germans have worked together to realize this dream of making not only the original bell, which was restored in Germany, but making two copies that are testimonies of this very interesting story. One copy is in “Dresden”, which is the German city where the ship bears the name, the second is on Robinson Crusoe Island and the original is in the Maritime Museum of Valparaíso. This is the triangle of friendship between Chile and Germany.”

For his part, Rear Admiral Rodrigo indicated that, “This Bell is that living representation and means of communication not only to remember past acts of sacrifice and honor, by the way, but also of those German sailors who that March 14, 1915 were in that audible dimension of the Bell and who became part of our own national history. as well as the experience and significance for different communities of the country that were related to the events of “Dresden” and its crew. But the fact that this object of remarkable heritage value is present with us today is the result of multiple wills: since that timely authorization of the Council of National Monuments granted in 2004 to go to its rescue in the face of the risk of theft; as well as the determined operation of the team of German and Chilean specialists, and certainly of several divers of the Chilean Navy.”

Meanwhile, the Undersecretary of Cultural Heritage, said that, “From the Undersecretariat of Cultural Heritage and also from the Council of National Monuments, we are very happy for the return of the bell of “Dresden” to Chile, after 15 years, in which it was also possible to enjoy there, to be able to know the shipwreck that occurred in our country in 1915, we are also happy from the sector of cultures, arts and heritage because we can count today on a very important piece, not only for the history of Chile and Germany but also for the world and we hope that many people, children, adolescents, families can come to know the history.”