Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Singapore ArtScience Museum

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When you first step into the exhibition, you will be handed a ‘boarding pass’. The back side holds the information and facts of a real passenger who has gone on board the Titanic back then. Near the end of the exhibition, there is a board indicating the names of all survivors and non-survivors, and so you can find out whether your identity has lived on. Being a first-class female passenger, she had survived.

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Throughout the exhibition, I was filled with a sense of awe, pity and tragedy. Some artifacts were retrieved from the bottom of the sea nearly 70 years after the sinkage of the Titanic, while others were begotten from the survivors themselves. From mechanical items such as screws and technical systems in the ship to pieces of clothings and personal items, the artifacts seemed timeless.

I also remembered vividly the environment of the cabin corridors, upper deck and the Grand Staircase that weren’t real but depicted and made such that it mirrors those areas of the ship. The first class cabin corridors were a touch of grandeur, making the Titanic seem like a “floating hotel”. That said, the first class passengers were one of the richest group of people at that time, with tickets costing a few hundred thousands of dollars in today’s context. First class cabins also came with their own toilets in them, whereas public bathrooms were provided for second and third class cabins to share. But, it was not considered a terrible thing as they only bathed once a week in those times. First class passengers also had the privileges of a gymnasium and better quality materials of cutlery and tableware.

It was a tragedy that the “unsinkable” ship as people called it, faced its icy death on 15 April 1912. Many stories were told. A priest stayed on board to help the many others, a woman only wanting to stay behind with her husband, a mother and child who were separated by lifeboats. There were mishaps, the number of lifeboats could only bring about a third of the passengers to safety. The unfortunate victims mostly perished from hypothermia than drowning – the ocean was freezing. Within minutes, their lives were gone.

The news was unforgettable. From the awe of the massive structure, to the breathtaking insights, to the saddening incident, I believe everybody finds an interest in the sinking of the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage, so this experience will be a one to remember.

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