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Remembering the Titanic

4/3/2012

 "Disaster ship remembered in City that Built it"

Belfast, Ireland is the birthplace of the ill-fated ship that went down 100 years ago on April 12 and many locals were crew members, technicians and passengers on the Titanic.  The city was left in mourning and people didn’t want to be reminded of the disaster.  “She was alright when she left here,” became the city’s stubborn slogan.

To commemorate not only the Titanic itself but, the craftsmanship that the seaside town of Belfast has brought to the shipping industry, a striking new museum has recently opened housing an exhibition that recalls not only a tragedy which was long taboo in Northern Ireland’s former industrial hub, but also to celebrate the heyday of shipbuilding.

The Titanic Belfast is a six story exhibition building that aims to captivate visitors with special effects, interactive touch screens and talking holograms.  “Construction took three years to complete (as long as it took to build the Titanic itself) and the structure stands on the site of the shipyard where the Titanic was hammered into shape.  Form a seagull’s perspective; it resembles the titanic shipping company White Star Line’s logo.  Viewed from a fish’s perspective, the building’s four “hulls” soar as high as the Titanic’s bow.  An aluminum skin, composed of 3,000 panels, reflects the light from the water at the foot of the building.”

“This exhibition is not celebrating the sinking of the Titanic,” says Tim Husbands, Managing Director of Titanic Belfast, “but Belfast’s engineers’ and workers’ achievements a hundred years ago.”

There are sure to be a lot of celebrations surrounding this centennial.  If you happen to be in England celebrating with the Queen, a true history lesson of ship building is sure to be found here in Northern Ireland.  Not to worry, the gift shop at Titanic Belfast will take the same British pounds left over from the Diamond Jubilee.