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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Titanic fragment showing where ship split to be displayed in London museum

The interior panel, the largest surviving fragment from the sunken ship, will be on display for visitors at the Victoria and Albert museum.

Wooden panel fragment from an overdoor in the first-class lounge on the Titanic
Wooden panel fragment from an overdoor in the first-class lounge on the Titanic

A panel from the world's most famous sunken ship, the Titanic, is to be brought back to Britain to be displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The interior fragment, which once decorated the over-door to the first-class lounge, is being shown as part of the museum's upcoming exhibition on the golden age of ocean travel, which begins in February 2018.

Recovered from the Atlantic when the Titanic sank in 1912, the artefact has previously been housed at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

This is the first time the panel, the largest fragment to be recovered from the ship, has been back to Europe since the Titanic set sail on its ill-fated voyage from Southampton on 10 April 1912.

Exhibition curator Ghislaine Wood said: "What is remarkable about this panel is it shows where the ship actually split in two. The panel was at the point where the split was so it broke off and rose to the surface while the ship sank under the waves."

The artefact, featuring a carved decoration of musical instruments executed in Louis XV style, is demonstrative of the opulence in which the ship was crafted.

This year also marks two decades since James Cameron's blockbuster about the disaster starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio was released.

During a press event on Thursday, the V&A's director Tristram Hunt joked that the panel was the one Rose (played by Winslet) can be seen hanging on to while Jack (DiCaprio) dies in the freezing cold waters.

Other highlights from the exhibition include a Christian Dior suit worn by Marlene Dietrich on-board Queen Elizabeth in 1950 and a Cartier tiara from the Lutisana, which was sunk by a German U-boat in 1915.

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style will run at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London from February 3 to June 10.