La Cité de la Mer, a centre devoted to man’s adventures under the sea, and the first museum to have reached an agreement with the American company RMS Titanic, Inc., is going to be able to exhibit 35 artefacts brought up from the wreck of Titanic. The artefacts are returning to Cherbourg, where the legendary liner called on 10 April 1912, and will be on display until 15 November.
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A FIRST – IN THE PERMANENT EXHIBITION AREA DEVOTED TO TITANIC
24 pieces of equipment from the liner and 11 personal objects will be added to the area which has been giving visitors the chance to travel through time and space since 2012. The pieces will fit seamlessly into our permanent exhibition ‘Titanic, Return to Cherbourg’, where they will stay for over eight months.
11 personal belongings (a pair of white silk socks, a lucky charm necklace, a jar of toothpaste …) give us a glimpse into the lives of the carefree, wealthy travellers, and of the simple emigrants who were hoping for a better life. It is just this journey, made by Franz Pulbaum, which visitors to La Cité de la Mer will discover, through 7 items from his luggage, brought to the surface by divers in 1993. A young German emigrant who had settled in the United States, he was chief mechanic in a New York amusement park. He had spent some time in France setting up an extremely popular roundabout in the Luna Park in Paris, and boarded Titanic in Cherbourg on 10 April 1912 to return to New York. He was 27 years old when he lost his life in the shipwreck.
The first, second and third class tableware on show illustrates the style that was favoured at the time, and that was reflected in the splendour and luxury of the great transatlantic liners: table art, but also culinary art, inspired by great French chefs such as Auguste Escoffier. After being involved in launching and running some of the most luxurious hotels on land, Escoffier became the first person to provide prestigious ‘Ritz Carlton’ Restaurants on board transatlantic liners. The White Star Line applied his innovative precepts on board Titanic by applying the Escoffier style to the way the tables were laid, as well as to the recipes and garnishes of its meals.
All the fittings in the cabins and common rooms bear witness to the care taken by Titanic’s designers to create the most luxurious and modern liner of the time.
AN AGREEMENT UNIQUE IN EUROPE, BETWEEN RMS TITANIC, INC. AND LA CITÉ DE LA MER
Since 1987, the Atlanta-based company, RMS Titanic, Inc., acting as exclusive steward of Titanic, has collected over 5,500 artifacts from the debris field around the wreck at a depth of 3,800 metres. By restoring them in conjunction with scientists and historians, and putting them on show for the public, RMS Titanic, Inc., a subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions, Inc., is guaranteeing that this unique collection will be preserved, and the memory of the liner and its passengers respected.
The wreck was located in 1985 by a team of French and American divers from Ifremer and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. By 1987 objects were being brought back to the surface by a team led by Paul-Henri Nargeolet, the French deep-sea diving specialist. The renowned oceanaut is now passing on his knowledge and experience, including in La Cité de la Mer on 10 April. It is mainly thanks to him that La Cité de la Mer, in Normandy, is able to put on show the 35 artifacts included in our 2015 exhibition in the ‘Titanic, Return to Cherbourg’ area of the centre.
Samuel S. Weiser, RMS TITANIC, Inc. executive chairman :
“RMS Titanic, Inc., a subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions, Inc., and the salvor-in-possession of the RMS Titanic wreck site, is pleased to collaborate with La Cite de la Mer for the exhibition Titanic: Artifacts and Stories. This new exhibition represents the ongoing efforts of the Company and the Museum to preserve the memory of Titanic and all who sailed with her through educating old and young alike with her intriguing personal stories, historical relevance and maritime significance.”