By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
With repeats on television of the 1997 film “Titanic,” the doomed
ship is still a curiosity.
“Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” at OdySea plays on those
feelings by showcasing items found on the world’s largest ship at that
time that sank after colliding with an iceberg.
“It was a traumatic event in 1912 that no one ever expected to
happen,” says Alexandra Klingelhofer, the exhibition’s vice president of
collections.
“So many people from around the world were affected. It was one
of the first recorded global accidents. It was telegraphed, so it was like
they were hearing about it as it happened. There was a huge loss of life.
It was also a story everyone could relate to throughout the 20th century,
with the movies still coming out.”
The exhibit was designed with a focus on the legendary RMS
Titanic’s compelling personal stories, told through room re-creations and
137 artifacts, 120 of which have never been seen in Arizona. Visitors
who saw Arizona Science Center's exhibit several years ago will see
many differences.
“There are different artifacts,” Klingelhofer says. “Like we have a
wool vest that belonged to William Henry Allen, who lived in the
Midlands in England. We have a paisley scarf. He was a dashing British
machinist.”
Another item is a gold mesh coin purse with a clasp with two little
mummy heads. She says she and the other organizers choose what’s
going to be shown based on the area in which they are setting up.
One of the most interesting parts of the exhibit happens when
guests come through the door. They are handed a card with information
about a person on the Titanic. Visitors find out their fate at the end.
“It brings them closer to the story,” she says. “It gives you
information about who the person was, what class they were in, where
they were going,” she says.

“After you go through the exhibition, teaching about how the ship
was built, life on board and the trauma of the accident, there’s a
memorial gallery and you find out what happened to that person.”
Perhaps the most intriguing part is the “iceberg.”
“We also have a touchable ‘iceberg,’” Klingelhofer says. “Visitors
are invited to come and touch it. The water was 32 degrees, which isn’t
freezing for salt water. That’s why most of the passengers who
perished.”
Ran Knishinsky, partner and chief marketing officer, with OdySea
in the Dessert, he understands the thrill of the Titanic.
“Generations have been mesmerized by the story of the Titanic;
from its grand send-off in England to its unfortunate collision with an
iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean that forever altered the lives of those
aboard.
“Even after more than 100 years, the curiosity is still there.
‘Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition’ puts visitors in the shoes of
passengers, showcasing authentic objects that offer a poignant,
emotional connection to those traveling on the iconic ship. OdySea in
the Desert is proud to offer this must-see experience in the
Scottsdale/Phoenix area.”

“Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition”
When: Now through Spring 2020
Where: OdySea in the Desert, 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale
Cost: Tickets are $19.95 for adults; $14.95 for children; $17.95 for
seniors
Info: 480-951-2100, odyseainthedesert.com or titanicaz.com

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