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Riveting stuff

7 February 2007 by Sam

Man holding wood with rivets

Joiner Paul Murphy with some of the fake rivets used in the new gallery

It’s all hands on deck at Merseyside Maritime Museum this week, where the finishing touches are being made to a new gallery about the sinking of a tragic trio of ships – the Titanic, Lusitania and Empress of Ireland – which opens on Saturday.

National Museums Liverpool’s joiners have skillfully transformed part of the first floor of the museum for the new displays, which are framed with a dramatic jagged edge of torn metal, to give the effect of the damaged hull of a sinking ship. Paul Murphy showed me how the torn metal is actually made of wood – complete with wooden rivets.

The rivets may be fake but the displays include some genuine objects from the disasters – including a deckchair from the Lusitania and a Titanic lifejacket worn by one of the survivors. While many items will be familiar from the former Floating Palaces gallery, there is also plenty of previously unseen material on show.

Don’t forget, there’s still time to catch the Shipwrecked exhibition in the museum, to learn survival skills in case you ever find yourself on a sinking ship.

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