Titanic artifact exhibition opens in metro Phoenix

May 8, 2019, 4:04 AM | Updated: May 9, 2019, 6:46 am
(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — The Titanic, the world’s largest ship, sank in the Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg more than 100 years ago, but its artifacts are now resurfacing in the Valley.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition opened at OdySea in the Desert near Scottsdale on Wednesday, focusing on the legendary ship’s stories told through room recreations and artifacts.

“We walk through the story from the time the ship was designed through being on board, to the iceberg and the boiler room,” Vice President of Collections Alexandra Klingelhofer told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

At the start of the exhibition, visitors are quickly transported to 1912 when they receive a replica boarding pass of a real passenger aboard the Titanic.

Visitors will then move through the ship’s construction, experience what it is like on board and get a first-hand view of the iceberg.

“We have an iceberg so that you can actually touch it and feel like what 28 degrees feels like,” Klingelhofer said.

“That being the temperature of the water the night the Titanic sank.”

Walking through the exhibit, visitors will see hundreds of artifacts, 120 of which have never been in Arizona.

Klingelhofer described those artifacts as, “letters, books, clothing, leather shoes, all of those types of objects were recovered inside leather suitcases. So they were preserved, which is unusual.”

In the middle of the exhibition, there is a life-size sticker on the ground indicating the small size of the lifeboats that were used to carry about 60 people each on the night the ship sank.

As visitors wrap up their walk through history, they will be met with the “Memorial Gallery,” where guests can take out their boarding pass and discover whether their passenger survived or not.

“I think exhibit is really important to understand even today how people make decisions about what they will take in the event of some disaster,” Klingelhofer said.

“It’s a way of opening your eyes. If I recently immigrated, what would be in my one or two suitcases? It’s a way of bringing history to life so to speak,.”

The exhibition will be on display at OdySea in the Desert until spring of 2020.

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Titanic artifact exhibition opens in metro Phoenix