Europe, Venice and the Sea

An article for the #SalonEuropa blog parade: Did you know that Europe is the planet’s most maritime continent – that is, in terms of the length of its coastline relative to total landmass? Have you ever wondered how Europe’s history might have looked if its inhabitants hadn’t ventured out to sea, crossed oceans, and thus established close contacts with different parts of the world? Have you thought about the role the sea continues to play in Europeans’ lives today? We explore these questions in our “Europe and the Sea” exhibition, and attempt to illuminate just how fundamentally the sea has shaped European history and culture. The exhibition’s curator, Christiana Brennecke, uses some of the most exciting objects displayed at the show to tell the story of how Venice, a small European city state, used its relationship to the sea to become a great power – and how it is still seen today as the very epitome of European culture.