- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
Belfast hopes to rise off ‘unsinkable’ heritage of Titanic
Titanic now a pride of the city and a source of tourism
BELFAST — A century after the Titanic sank, this Northern Irish city, where the “unsinkable” luxury liner was built, is finally coming to terms with the disaster and hoping to make a profit off the tragic story.
“There are 300 to 500 Titanic centers across the world, but it’s taken Belfast 100 years to celebrate it.”
With the 30-year Catholic-Protestant conflict in Northern Ireland fading into history, the Titanic has become an ironic symbol of hope for the future of the British province. Belfast leaders are trying to capitalize on its heritage to draw in tourists and promote economic redevelopment.
Titanic Belfast, a $123 million visitor center and museum that opened to a sellout crowd last weekend, is a major investment by city authorities.
The 40,000-square-foot building was designed by Texas-based architect Eric Kuhne to resemble a ship’s bows and was constructed in an unused area of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, where the original vessel was built.
The Titanic, the largest ocean liner at the time, was widely considered unsinkable because of numerous safety features. But it struck an iceberg and went down in the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912, four days after it steamed out of Southampton, England. The ship, which carried more than 2,200 passengers and crew, took more than 1,500 lives as it sank more than two miles to the ocean floor.
Hopes for tourism
Those with personal connections to the ship are happy to see local recognition after decades of efforts to ignore the Titanic’s heritage and preserve Belfast’s shipbuilding business.
“People didn’t talk about it because they were still trying to sell ships and the objective was to save jobs,” said Johnny Andrews, the great-great-nephew of the Titanic’s naval architect, Thomas Andrews, who died in the disaster and is widely regarded as having played a heroic role by putting others’ lives before his own.
“Those jobs created won’t be a panacea, but I think it will bring a lot of tourists,” Mr. Andrews said.
Given his ancestor’s direct connection to the Titanic, Mr. Andrews also has the unusual experience of being able to relate directly to the media portrayals of the ship’s tragic maiden voyage.
“The Cameron movie, when it came out, we thought it was awful, although it portrayed our uncle well,” Mr. Andrews said. “Recently, I’ve discovered there was a grain of truth in the story.”
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- HURT: D.C. gets the vapors, calls sequester too much
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
- EDITORIAL: Al Gore, soothsayer
- We told you so: Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow