Titanic artifact exhibition drifts into town

By Zaki JufriEvents - 27 October 2011 6:01 PM | Updated 6:30 PM

Titanic artifact exhibition drifts into town

An exact replica and reconstruction of Titanic's Grand Staircase. Photo: Premier Exhibition, Inc


He cuts an imposing figure on the gangway. Bearded and regal in his navy blues and captain's stripes, he says, “Welcome to the RMS Titanic. I’m Captain Edward J Smith. I hope you will enjoy your journey with us.”

Minus the salty air of the port of Cherbourg, France, it feels like you’re on a set of movie but actually, you’re in a gallery in the Art Science Museum and Captain Smith is actually an actor.

Almost a century after the Titanic - at the time, the world's largest ship - sank after colliding with an iceberg, claiming more than 1,500 lives, the dramatic story continues to fascinate people around the world. Beginning October 29, you will have an opportunity to journey back in time in Titanic: The Artifact Exhibitionto take a poignant look at this iconic ship and its passengers at Marina Bay Sands’ ArtScience Museum.

The Titanic story is one that has been passed down throughout the years, told in countless ways in books, movies and TV specials.

On April 15, 1912, the Titanic, sank and all that’s left is the wreckage at the bottom of the Atlantic: A debris field stretching about a mile long with items from the period.

The Titanic exhibition features a recreation of one of the ship's luxurious first-class cabins. A first-class ticket on the Titanic to New York was US$2,500, which would be approximately US$60,000 today.


First class cabin with toiletry items. Photo: Premier Exhibition, Inc

The items on display include never-before-seen items such as a comb brought up in 2000 which had been found inside a leather bag containing other personal objects. There’s even an exact replica of the grand staircase (where Leo and Kate walked down in their Sunday best in the movie) as well as one of the deck where you can stare longingly into the starry night sky.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition has also created an ‘iceberg wall’ and you can to touch and feel the what the passengers felt on that fateful night.

“It’s very exciting for us to have this exhibition here in Singapore. The Titanic story is a human story that I believe people  of all ages will enjoy,” says ArtScience Museum director Tom Zaller.

For Zaller, the Titanic exhibition has come full circle for him as he spent three weeks aboard a Russian research vessel in 2000 where he participated in a 12 hour dive, descending to some 3,800m to witness the Titanic first-hand. “I have a special connection with this exhibition,” he says.


Iceberg gallery. Photo: Premier Exhibition, Inc

The Singapore edition of the exhibition will also see a few firsts. Visitors here can experience what it’s like to descend 3,800 metres under the sea to see the Titanic wreck. The Discovery Gallery comes complete with debris strewn sand (you walk on a glass platform) and recreates the scene at the bottom of the ocean. It takes you through some key highlights of the various Titanic expeditions and well as take you through the science of how the wreck and artefacts are monitored and recovered.

To give the exhibition a Singaporean context, there’s even a Singapore 1912 gallery. Here you can learn what happened in Singapore when the Titanic accident happened through newspaper articles and images of Singapore back then.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition happens from October 29 to April 2012 at the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands.