1979: Belem returns to France
1976: “Giorgio Cini”, once the Cini Foundation's school ship, was put on sale by Venice Shipyards. ASCANF, an association dedicated to the safeguard of old French ships, launched a campaign for the return to France of this particular three master, having recognized the ship as being in fact the last French 19th century sailing ship who exchanged her original colours for the British ones 60 years earlier when she was bought by the Duke of Westminster.
1980-2009: Belem, a figurehead of French naval heritage
Belem left Paris and the banks of the Seine in early 1980 for a trial journey along the Normandy and Brittany coast to Nantes. In 1986, Belem took to open sea for the first time since her return: she crossed the Atlantic to New York where she flew the flag for France in the Statue of Liberty's 100th anniversary celebrations.
Following a stay in Caen where the trainees' quarters in the battery were fitted out, in 1987 Belem was ready to take on her new career as a school ship sailing under French colours.