Editor's Viewpoint: A lasting tribute to Titanic's 100th
The reaction so far to the new Titanic Belfast has been extremely good, and this makes the long wait worthwhile.
For many decades the Titanic was not talked about in Ulster, following her ill-fated maiden voyage, but in recent years there has been a growing recognition that she was one of the greatest vessels of all time.
That sense of pride has been recaptured by the magnificent Titanic Belfast, which will take its place as one of the most iconic pieces of architecture in modern times. Its distinctive lines already constitute a unique centrepiece in Belfast Harbour beside the very place where Titanic was built 100 years ago.
The new Titanic Belfast has received fulsome praise from many quarters, including the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister.
Significantly it has also received great praise from the paying members of the public who have had the privilege of a tour on the opening day.
As we report the majority of the 100 people we interviewed were extremely positive, with only a few minor quibbles. This marks a good start for a building and a visitor "experience" for which around 100,000 tickets have already been sold on-line. However Titanic Belfast needs to sell 300,000 tickets a year, so it is imperative the public is being offered something that is unique and remarkable.
Titanic Belfast tells a story which has so many different dimensions, ranging from triumph to tragedy. It outlines the vibrant Belfast where the Titanic was built, as well as the technological marvels which made her such a remarkable creation.
However there is also the dark side of the story, with the loss of so many lives. This is told with dignity, and underlines that the Titanic anniversary is not only a celebration of the creativity of those who designed and built her, but also the commemoration of all those who lost their lives.
On the same day that Titanic finally left Belfast 100 years ago, we welcome Titanic Belfast today as her supremely appropriate memorial.