As final preparations are being made ahead of the reopening of Titanic Belfast on Saturday, details have been announced of some of the new artefacts that will go on display including an original deck chair from RMS Titanic and the world-famous violin belonging to the ship’s hero musician, Wallace Hartley, which has been described as one of the rarest and most iconic objects of the 20th century.
As part of the new collection, the world-leading visitor attraction will also exhibit a number of artefacts that have never been on public display before including a Plan of First Class accommodation, which was issued exclusively to First Class passengers to help them navigate the luxury liner, and belonged to Ellen Bird, the personal maid to Ida Straus, whose husband, Isidor, owned Macy’s department store in New York.
Other artefacts being displayed for the first time include items belonging to Malcolm Joakim Johnson – including his personal pocket watch which survived the sinking and was recovered from his body. The hands of the corroded Omega are frozen in time at 1.37am, the exact moment he was immersed into the icy waters of the North Atlantic. His manifest ticket which is stamped 10th April 1912; and a set of five rare original glass plate photographs of Titanic’s launch in Belfast on 31st May 1911 will also be on display.
Judith Owens MBE, Chief Executive of Titanic Belfast said: “We are honoured to have been entrusted to display these extremely rare artefacts connected to RMS Titanic’s story. They are of great historical significance and will be very powerful in helping visitors make emotional and human connections to the stories of Titanic’s passengers and crew as part of the reimagined Titanic Experience.”
The refreshed experience introduces ‘The Pursuit of Dreams’ as a new theme and will combine immersive new technology with this original maritime heritage collection and the authentic Titanic story to deliver an enriched, emotive experience which will sustain Titanic Belfast as a must-see global attraction for years to come.
Titanic Belfast’s £4.5m investment programme has been fully funded from the Titanic Belfast Gallery Refreshment Fund which was established when the building opened as part of the commercial operator agreement and held by the charity owner, Maritime Belfast Trust.
On behalf of the lender of the artefacts, Titanic Belfast has made a donation to Cancer Fund for Children.
To book tickets for the new Titanic Experience from Saturday 4th March visit titanicbelfast.com.