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Titanic exhibition attempts to recreate experience of being on doomed ship

By Jonathan McCambridge

Ever wondered what it felt like to walk the decks of the Titanic? Almost 100 years after the liner sank beneath icy waters on an April night in 1912, the spirit of the great ship is coming back to Ireland through a new exhibition.

‘Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition’, which opens to the public at the Citywest Event Centre in Dublin on Saturday, will attempt to recreate the experience of being on board the doomed Belfast-built ship.

The human stories of those who died and those who survived are retold through recreated sets identical to the rooms aboard the ship, and using more than 300 haunting artefacts recovered from the Titanic's wreck site in the Atlantic Ocean.

Visitors will be able to walk her decks, peer into her cabins, and meet her passengers and crew.

A top hat, a gentleman's spectacles, the Titanic bell, the steering-wheel stand, the officers' window, china from all three classes, a telegraph base, the perfume of Saalfeld and a piece of Titanic's hull are among the artefacts which are being displayed for the first time after they were recovered on salvage dives.

Each visitor receives a replica boarding pass of an actual Titanic passenger before they embark on a chronological journey that begins with an outline of the ship’s origins at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

They can tour recreated first and third-class cabins, the ship's cargo hold and boiler room, press their palms against an actual iceberg, and learn some of the countless stories of heroism and humanity of her passengers and crew.

Titanic sank after striking an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland in April, 1912 en route to New York from Southampton, with more than 1,500 passengers losing their lives.

The exhibit has toured the globe and has been seen by more than

22 million visitors since its American parent company Premier Exhibitions Inc secured the rights to recovery operations from the wreck in 1994.

It has since recovered some 5,500 precious artefacts from the murky depths.

Exhibition spokeswoman Cheryl Mure said: “On that unexpected night in 1912 more than 1,500 passengers met the same fate — no matter their class or place in society; a shocking ending to what was a joyous journey.

“Their story is our story and it is our honour and duty to share these treasures with Ireland at such a poignant time.” The exhibit runs from Saturday to June 30, 2010.

Tickets are available at the door or through Ticketmaster, ranging from €12 to €18.

Belfast Telegraph


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