Southampton City Council Press Releases
SeaCity visitors want Titanic left as a mass grave and donít want recovered souvenirs
The wreck of the Titanic should be left undisturbed on the ocean floor, say visitors to the UK’s newest Titanic exhibition.
Titanic: The Legend, a year-long exhibition at Southampton’s brand-new SeaCity museum, focuses on how the disaster has been remembered in the 100 years since the sinking, and why the story continues to fascinate people.
The exhibition covers memorabilia, conspiracy theories and the cult of the Titanic in popular culture. Interactive stations throughout the gallery invite visitors to input their views on key questions about the Titanic and its sinking. They are presented with live updates of the survey on a screen as they leave the gallery.
Legend complements a new permanent exhibition in the same museum, which follows the story of the crew of the ship, the vast majority of whom lived in Southampton. The Titanic death toll affected more than 500 households in the city.
More than 4600 visitors have passed through Legend since SeaCity opened its doors on Tuesday afternoon (10 April).
More than half of them (55%) have indicated that the wreck should remain undisturbed on the ocean floor, with 37% voting for it to be explored and salvaged. Eight per cent were not sure.
When asked whether they would like to own a real Titanic souvenir, only 41% said they would. Fifty nine per cent would not buy something that came from the Titanic.
On the principle of ‘women and children first’, a clear majority (65%) said that women and children should be saved. Fifteen per cent voted for children first, six per cent voted for important people and 14 per cent voted for whoever got to the lifeboats first.
With interest in the Titanic at an all-time high, visitors were asked the question “Will our fascination with the Titanic fade?” A massive 84 per cent said the story of the Titanic would remain popular and well-known, while just 16 per cent thought the Titanic legend would fade and disappear.
Maria Newbery, curator of maritime and local collections for Southampton City Council, says the initial results of the interactive survey are “interesting.” She adds:
“The whole purpose of the Legend exhibition is to make people think and we are clearly succeeding. We have asked challenging questions and are pleased people have given them thought. These are interesting initial results and we will continue to monitor visitors’ responses and see how this ongoing survey develops.”
Notes to editors
* A full survey snapshot taken at 1.30pm on Friday 13 April is attached. This represents the cumulative results since the museum opened on 10 April 2012.
* More media resources on SeaCity including photographs are available for download at www.leepeckgroup.com/seacity
* SeaCity Museum is the latest important step in the development of Southampton’s Cultural Quarter. Southampton Cultural Development Trust is spearheading the city’s drive to complete the Cultural Quarter, with its new galleries, performance and film spaces, through advocacy and fundraising. www.culturesouthampton.org.uk
Visitors views from Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th April 2012 (4600 people)
What contributed most to the Titanic disaster?
* 11% blamed faulty rivets
* 22% voted for the lack of binoculars being the cause
* 25% voted that the watertight compartment played a key role
* 42% blamed human error
Bad luck or bad management?
* 10% voted that the Titanic was just unlucky
* 70% thought it should have been avoided
* 20% say we can never know
Was Titanic speeding?
* 57% say Titanic was going too fast
* 11% say speed wasn’t an issue
* 32% believe it’s something we’ll never know
Do we still believe in the principle of women and children first?
* 65% said that women and children should be saved
* 15% voted for children
* 6% voted for important people
* 14% voted for whoever got there first
Who wants to own a Titanic souvenir?
* 41% would love to own a real Titanic souvenir
* 59% wouldn’t buy something that came from the Titanic
Titanic – mass grave or site to explore?
* 55% of visitors believe that Titanic should be left undisturbed on the ocean floor
* 37% voted for it to be explored and salvaged
* 8 % aren’t sure
Will our fascination with the Titanic fade?
* 84% say the story of the Titanic will remain popular and well-known
* 16% think the Titanic legend will fade and disappear
Legend exhibition challenges perceptions!
* 24% of visitors have changed their minds about the Titanic after seeing Legend
* 41% adjusted their views slightly
* 35% haven’t changed their minds