Belfast Telegraph

Titanic wreck 'could become museum'

The wreck of the Titanic could become an underwater museum, its discoverer said.

Footage of the doomed vessel, which now has Unesco world heritage protection, from 4,000m under the ocean off the coast of Canada could be broadcast live, Dr Robert Ballard said.

The oceanographer uncovered the vessel in 1985 and said the technology existed to beam material from the depths across the world.

"I see the Titanic becoming an underwater museum, accessed, with wonderful facilities," he said. "We hope to come live on the anniversary of the discovery, September 1."

American oceanographer Dr Ballard was part of the team that found the wreckage of the famous steamship in the Atlantic Ocean in 1985. He was speaking at a lecture at Titanic Belfast visitor centre.

He recalled the moment when he found debris from the wreck, identified as a boiler from the Titanic.

"We were screaming and yelling and just celebrating," he said. "Then someone said 'she sinks in 20 minutes'. We realised it was totally inappropriate to be celebrating."

He said the image that struck him the most was what they saw where the bodies landed. "We saw the cemetery there, marked by shoes," he said. The leather was the only part not eaten by sealife.

"We are not celebrating this hundredth anniversary," the scientist added. "It was quite an emotional jarring. We were professionals going after this and suddenly the human beings in this surfaced and we realised the ground spoke, the Titanic spoke, and we heard it loud and clear."

Events were taking place to mark the centenary, including a Requiem for the Lost Souls at St Anne's Cathedral and a commemoration in music and film at the Waterfront Hall, featuring well-known performers including singer Katie Melua.

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