Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl said in Djibouti on Tuesday (4 April) that he and his international crew had set fire to their reed vessel -- the Tigris -- to jolt the conscience of the industrialised world.
Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl said in Djibouti on Tuesday (4 April) that he and his international crew had set fire to their reed vessel -- the Tigris -- to jolt the conscience of the industrialised world. He told reporters the burning was a protest against the war in the Horn of Africa, particularly the industrialised nations' supplying modern weapons to the combatants.
SYNOPSIS: The burning and the dismantling of the remains followed a ten-weeks voyage from Southern Iraq across the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea coast of Africa. The voyage was to prove the ancient Sumerians from Mesopotamia could have reached India and Africa in similar types of craft. During its 3,700 mile (6,000 kilometre) voyage, the Tigris was almost swamped by high seas, and had needed repairs, but was still oceanworthy.
After the burning, Professor Heyerdahl and his crew sent a message to United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim saying the aim of their voyage had been accomplished. They stressed that 11 men of different nationalities living in peaceful co-existence in a confined space for a long time had proved the futility of wars between nations. Later, Professor Heyerdahl justified his reasons for the boat's destruction.