Titanic Belfast planning big with 33ft ship layout display
A hand-drawn plan of the Titanic that sold for more than £200,000 is to go on display in Belfast.
The 33ft (10m) drawing, which was used during an inquiry into the sinking of the ship in 1912, has been donated anonymously to the city's new Titanic visitor attraction.
Paper conservator Sean Madden, who restored the Titanic Inquiry Plan at his studio in Lurgan, Co Armagh, said: “The plan has been a fascinating piece to work on.
“It is in remarkable condition for its age and a vital piece of the Titanic story. It is without doubt one of the most famous artefacts of Titanic. Historically, it is very important.
“I would say that it transcends economic value, given its role in Titanic history. Restoring and preparing the plan for display at Titanic Belfast has been an honour.”
The detailed cross-section was commissioned to assist the British Board of Trade during the 36-day inquiry which was held weeks after the disaster. It was prepared by architects who had designed the ill-fated liner and was hung in the inquiry's hearing room as the 96 witnesses gave evidence.
It was marked in chalk to indicate where investigators believed the iceberg struck the ill-fated White Star liner.
It had been estimated to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000 when it was put up for public auc
tion in May, but it was snapped up by an anonymous bidder at £220,000 — making it one of the most expensive pieces of Titanic memorabilia in the world.
The plan is to be installed in the Aftermath Gallery at Titanic Belfast over the next few weeks. It was shown at Belfast City Hall in April as part of the Titanic centenary commemorations, the first time it had been seen in a century.
In 2007 the keys and chain of the postmaster of the Titanic mail room made £101,000, a record amount at auction.
More than 1,500 people died when Titanic hit an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland on April 15, 1912.