Published Wednesday, 28 March 2012
A young girl holds the hand of a Titanic workman. (© Pacemaker)
The public artwork at Pitt Park on the Newtownards Road pays tribute to the city's shipbuilding heritage and is set within the timeframe of 1912.
It was created by leading Irish artist Ross Wilson and features three bronze workmen on their way home, framed against the backdrop of the iconic Samson and Goliath cranes.
First Minister Peter Robinson unveiled the Yardmen sculpture on Wednesday, as Belfast continues to prepare for the launch of the Titanic Festival this weekend.
"East Belfast should be immensely proud today," the DUP leader said.
"The work of the men behind the Titanic was driven by an ethic of diligence, vision and determination. This is an ethic which we had been transporting across the world for 200 years before Titanic and which we continue to sell to the world today, in 2012.
"Let us remember that this project is not simply about acknowledging the achievements of the past but also in addressing issues which we face in the Inner East Belfast area in the 21st century."
Meanwhile the Bridge End Railway Station, also in east Belfast, has been renamed Titanic Quarter Station following the completion of a major revamp.
The station originally opened in 1977 to serve the Harland & Wolff shipyard and harbour estate and replaced the nearby Ballymacarrett Station.
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy launched new signage and a platform extension as well as other works on Wednesday.
"The completion of the work is very timely given the imminent opening of Titanic Belfast and the station will from now on be called Titanic Quarter Station," the UUP minister said.
"The new Titanic Quarter Station is the gateway station to many of Belfast's newest attractions and developments in the area including Titanic Belfast, the Public Records Office, the Odyssey and Belfast Metropolitan College.
"The improvements are part of an overall £7m project to extend platforms across the railway network in order to allow for the introduction to service of the new Class 4000 trains."
A series of events will be taking place over the coming fortnight to mark the Titanic centenary.
The new Titanic Belfast centre opens this weekend, and will welcome visitors two weeks ahead of commemorations across the city to mark the centenary of famous steamship's sinking, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives, on her maiden Atlantic voyage in April 1912.
© UTV News