If you think of museums and picture stodgy glass-filled cases, then the new Titanic Belfast is the definitive place to change all that. Set to join the ranks of an elite group of world class museums that are architectural icons in and of themselves, Titanic Belfast may very well top that list. But it goes beyond that. Its promise is practically that of an amusement park attraction (and I mean that in a good way). It’s not a place you go to look at information. It’s sleek, gorgeous, interactive, and visceral. And unique. Don’t forget unique.
Belfast – and the very shipyards where BT is located – is where the great boat was built and, opening on the centenary of its completion and launch, the museum could well be called an “ode” to the great ship. Inside you’ll find lovingly reconstructed rooms, complete with the original pièce de résistance, the Grand Staircase. Each gallery is dedicated to a different aspect of the catastrophe. (Click for more on what to expect.)
We know why the Titanic sunk, but still its death has the lasting allure of a great mystery. We can’t stop thinking about it. It is because of the relative magnitude of the tragedy? Because of its promise as a tantalizing time capsule we can see but never reach? Because its literal fate mirrors the figurative one of the social world it carried across the ocean? Surely it is some unmatchable collision of all these kinds of Provedence.
Just look at this beauty. Like the original, I expect it might leave one speechless.