'Titanic violin' for Belfast anniversary

Published Friday, 29 March 2013
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A violin said to have been salvaged from the wreckage of the Titanic will go on display this weekend as part of events to mark Belfast's 400th anniversary.

'Titanic violin' for Belfast anniversary
The violin is believed to have been recovered from the ocean. (© UTV)

The instrument is believed to have been played by band leader Wallace Hartley during the sinking of the steamship on that fateful night in April 1912.

Plucked from the depths of the ocean, it will now appear alongside a number of other pieces of Titanic-related memorabilia in a special exhibition at City Hall.

It comes amid celebrations to mark 400 years since Belfast's first Royal Charter was granted by King James in April 1613, giving it town status. It then became a city in 1888.

Lisa Morgan, city events officer, said the celebrations would not be complete without the inclusion of Titanic, which was built in the city before setting off on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

"It's key to the history of our city and we'll have an exhibition that depicts the history of Belfast," Ms Morgan told UTV.

"Belfast was granted town status in 1613 so it's quite a significant anniversary for the city and this is one of the key events. City Hall is going to open up for the four days from Saturday to Tuesday, from 11am to 5pm, and there's going to be an array of free activities."

Other events will be put on at venues across the city over the Easter weekend.

The Ulster Hall will host tea dances, film screenings, guided tours, breakfast mornings, 'Literary Belfast'-themed events, reminiscence sessions, singalongs and more - and there also will be a series of family events at St George's Market on Easter Saturday.

Meanwhile the Titanic Centre will be celebrating its first birthday this weekend.

The tourist attraction has drawn in more than 700,000 visitors from over 130 countries in the 12 months since its doors opened.

However, one traditional Easter favourite which will be out of bounds is Belfast Zoo - it's closed until next Thursday following the heavy snowfall.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Darran Ward in Colne England wrote (666 days ago):
So funny. The violin has been been plucked from the depths of the ocean? Makes it sound as though it has been retrieved from the wreck. Far from it. The Violin is a recent discovery which claims to have been kept through the family of The Bandleader hartley's Fiancee until 1939. The Violin was found with Hartley's body. Why it was not listed on the effects found on hid body remains a mystery. As it was inside a music case as mentioned in the New York Times found to be strapped to his body it may have been undone put to one side for body identification. The violin most likely was in pieces as the glues would have melted. Material later found suggests it has been repaired. It has undergone tests for authenticity, and it is a real find and seems authentic.
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