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Titanic exhibition opens in Stockholm

Lydia Parafianowicz · 29 May 2009, 12:19

Published: 29 May 2009 12:19 GMT+02:00

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Since then, the Titanic has rested at the bottom of the sea. Her story left a legacy that has resonated around the world for nearly a century after her demise, and has now been captured in a new exhibition, “Titanic,” opening to the public on Friday, May 29th.

“The exhibition tells stories of life on board, the lives and deaths of the crew and the passengers,” explains Hans-Lennarth Ohlsson, director of the Maritime Museum. “She’s one of the most famous ships in the world. No matter where you’re from, it means something.”

The exhibit, which will be on display until November 1st, is a treat for any history buff, Titanic fan, or tourist seeking to learn more about the famous ship. It is comprised of photos of passengers and crew, artefacts, and replica displays of how the ship would have been.

Guests can momentarily slip into a fantasy world and imagine being a passenger, walking through a replica first-class hallway and state room. Details from chandeliers to woodwork are identical to how they were on the Titanic herself, as historians have consulted original plans from the boat and her sister ship, the Olympic (which sailed successfully from 1911 to 1935 when she was scrapped).

The exhibit hails from Spain, and has been on display both there and in Berlin before reaching Stockholm. One thing it lacks, however, is artefacts that have been extracted from the wreckage (about 3,800 metres below sea), with the exception of one piece of coal.

“That raises a lot of discussion about ethics,” says Ohlsson. “My personal thought is that if you can, bring it up. She was made of iron, so in a few years there will be nothing left of her. There are no bodies, they have been buried at sea.”

Visitors can expect to catch a glimpse of First Officer William Murdoch’s telescope (on loan from his family), or the wedding ring of Gerda Lindall, a Swedish woman on board who died, but whose ring was found in a lifeboat that floated ashore.

In fact, Ohlsson says that Swedes made up a large proportion of guests on board, and Swedish was the second most spoken language on the ship after English.

One Swedish passenger was 41-year-old Mauritz Nils Martin Ådahl. His granddaughter, Hjördis Ohlsson, attended the private opening ceremony of the exhibit held on Thursday.

"It’s something to honour my grandfather,” says Ohlsson. “I didn’t know him, but my mother often talked about how much she missed her dad.”

Ådahl and his wife emigrated from Sweden to New York in 1907, and had two daughters there in 1908 and 1910. In 1911, his wife and children returned to Sweden, preferring to settle permanently in their homeland, and at Christmastime, their father joined them.

In spring 1912, he decided to return to the US to make quick cash working as a timber man, and use the money for a home in Sweden. Originally, he was travelling on a boat called Philadelphia, but a coal shortage at the time cancelled all voyages except the Titanic (which needed 6,000 tons of coal for one trans-Atlantic journey).

Ådahl was re-booked on the Titanic, and his final legacy can be found in two letters written to his wife from Southampton, saying he would arrive in the US in just five days on the new ship.

Story continues below…

Ådahl’s body was found 10 days after the boat sank, and his wedding ring, pocket watch and penknife were returned to his wife. Because the life vests kept bodies floating upright in water, many objects in men’s breast pockets were kept out of the water and intact for historians.

With stories like these waiting to be discovered, the exhibit is a worthwhile trip for anyone looking to learn more about the 1,517 people who died in the accident.

An audio guide is available in eight languages, and the exhibit is free to those 18-years-old and younger. The exhibit is located at Båthall 1, behind the Vasa Museum, and is open Monday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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Lydia Parafianowicz (lydia.parafianowicz@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:13 May 30, 2009 by Bra_billie_boy
The title of Photo 3 reads "......the microscope of the Titanic's First Officer William Murdoch."

Correction: It is a 'Telescope' and not a 'Microscope'
15:26 May 30, 2009 by calif
The date for sinking should be 1912. My great-grandfather, William Pitfield, was a greaser on the Titanic. His body was never recovered, although family legend has it he may have been one of those burned beyond recognition - don't know how true that is.
20:49 May 30, 2009 by Miss Kitten
It was indeed 1912, and not 1914. That was a pretty unforgivable mistake on the Local's part.
13:37 May 31, 2009 by Nemesis
Sunk in 1912, not 1914.

Built by Harland and Wolf in Belfast.

Please do at least some fact checking.
17:25 June 1, 2009 by The Local
Oh dear. Thank you for bringing us to our senses. Of course the Titanic sank in 1912. The date has been corrected now.

Paul O'Mahony

17:43 June 6, 2009 by FriendofPatti's
This exhibition should be fantastic. I have visited the Vasa Museum which was my favorite museum in Stockholm. The Titanic museuem is right behind it as the article points out. If anyone goes, it is well worth the trip. It is a gorgeous city and the people everywhere are wonderful. I recommend going to the Royal Opera House nearby. It's stunning - the tourist info. center reserve good seats for tourists. I felt I had the best seats in the house. Sweden goes the extra mile for their tourists. It's a fabulous country to visit. Patti
20:32 June 8, 2009 by Yomper

THe movie depicted a baby as the only unclaimed body from the Titanic but this is not true the only unclaimed body was an Irishman from Dublin who lodged next door to my family in Southampton,UK
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