One hundred years ago next week, April 2, 1912, the “unsinkable” Titanic that took three years to build, sailed out of Belfast, Ireland, for Southampton, Cherbourg, Queenstown and, eventually, New York City with much pomp and ceremony. Thirteen days later, the ship hit an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic, taking 1,517 passengers with it.
But if Belfast was once ashamed of its connection with the Titanic, it seems to have finally gotten over it. Next week will see the launch of the Titanic Belfast festival to mark the centenary of what was once just a terrible tragedy, but could now become an important source of tourism revenue, the Guardian reports. Builders say it will boost Belfast’s economy by $38 million in 2012.
The star attraction will be the Titanic Belfast, an enormous £100 million ($159 million) visitor attraction built on the very location the ship was designed and sailed out of. Using original photographs and video, CGI animation, 3D imagery, and recreated cabins, the museum tracks the creation of the Titanic from the shipyard, to its launch, the sinking, and its second life in film. The museum opens March 31.
With Titanic fever scaling new heights (what with the blockbuster movie being re-released in 3D next week), we decided to take a look inside the museum.
(Our thanks to Titanic Belfast and Stakeholder Communications for giving us permission to run these photos)
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