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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February 2005, 16:14 GMT
Iceberg plan for Titanic town
It may seem a titanic leap to make an iceberg a symbol of hope in the city that built the ill-fated liner, but one artist is attempting to do just that.

The Titanic
The Titanic was built in Belfast
Belfast artist Rita Duffy hopes to boost tourism and make a grand statement - by towing an iceberg into the city where the ill-fated ship was constructed.

"The plan is to take the iceberg from off the coast of Norway and bring it along the old Viking journey towards Belfast," she said.

Built in Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyard, the Titanic is often seen as a cautionary tale of arrogant faith in technology versus the power of nature.

Ms Duffy has an altogether more positive interpretation of the ship's collision with an iceberg in 1912.

"I like to think there's a whole environmental aspect to this project where we could connect the thinking in Northern Ireland to serious political issues of a universal nature that we aren't really investigating here."

Rita Duffy
It's about ingenious thinking and using that sense of tenacity which Belfast has
Rita Duffy
She added: "Art is a tremendous way to help us deal with difficulties, and encourages society to transcend problems and to move into creative space.

"Without too much jargon, I think art can actually do things in society which politics perhaps fails to do."

She believes her planned project would give a new spin on the familiar story.

"It started with the narrative of the Titanic but I like to think we are pushing the thinking on a little bit and opening up the narrative, focussing on the regenerative and celebratory symbol of the iceberg," she said.

Ms Duffy says the technology does exist to actually pull off the ambitious project.

"To me, it's very much about the cross-discipline, the conversation we need to have between art and engineering - it's about ingenious thinking and using that sense of tenacity which Belfast has," she said.

Ms Duffy admits there might be a problem getting the iceberg all the way up Belfast Lough, which is quite shallow, so they might have to run it aground at the Copeland Islands off the County Down coast.

She has begun trying to raise funding for the project, forming a company called Thaw.

"This is a good way forward for Belfast - rather than rebuild the Titanic, we should actually look at what interrupted our journey," she said.

Designed to be practically unsinkable, the Titanic collided with an iceberg during its maiden voyage on 15 April 1912, resulting in the loss of 1,503 passengers and crew.


SEE ALSO
Titanic coming home for musical
31 Jan 05 |  Northern Ireland
Titanic blueprint to be auctioned
26 Jan 05 |  Northern Ireland
Titanic opportunity 'is wasted'
22 Nov 04 |  Northern Ireland
Artist sprays iceberg blood red
25 Mar 04 |  Europe

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