By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A meeting is underway in Philadelphia about the future of a landmark. Hint: that future is probably not here.

The USS Olympia, the unique cruiser of Spanish-American War prominence and more, needs a new home. That’s not only because of the millions of dollars in maintenance required, said Captain John Gazolla, President of the ship’s owner the Independence Seaport Museum, “The Olympia doesn’t agree with the museum’s new strategic plan which is to focus on the Delaware River and the Delaware River region.”

And the only real connection the Olympia has with the Delaware River is that it’s sitting in it.  Dozens of preservation experts from around the country are meeting for three days to come up with a Plan B.

The Seaport Museum’s summit attracted a TV crew from Ukraine, of all places. Why?  The Museum’s Jesse Lebovics said the Olympia led a mission to Murmansk during the Russian Revolution. It even sent troops ashore in an effort to undermine the Bolsheviks.

“It’s well-known in the Soviet world and then consequently in the post-Soviet world, not as well-known here,” said Lebovics.

Lebovics says the mission was an attempt to get Russia back into World War I on the Allies’ side, although that’s probably not the way it plays in Russian history.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060

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