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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 05:50 GMT 06:50 UK
Titanic exhibition could be huge
The Titanic
The Titanic was built at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast
A permanent exhibition devoted to the Titanic could be one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland, according to organisers.

Thousands of people from across the world are already flocking to a Titanic festival in Belfast.

Those behind the event at City Hall believe its success can be built on.

Festival manager Gerry Copeland said: "We have already shown with this festival that the Titanic story has a future."

He added: "This is our sixth annual Titanic Made in Belfast festival and each year we get 20-30,000 people who come to this festival.

"It generates somewhere in the region of an extra 1m for the city's economy.

"On average, somewhere between 15-20% of people who come are actually pure holidaymakers.

"This week alone, we have had people from South Korea, from Taipei, we have had people from literally around the globe.

"They come in here and they are fascinated by the topic."

Finnish tourist Heikki Turunen said he had come across the festival on the internet.

"It is marvellous that you see some special items (from the Titanic) in this show - that's why I am happy to be here."

A set of keys belonging to a postal clerk on the Titanic form part of the exhibition.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, who is selling the keys, said: "Because of their rarity, we estimate that they will go for between 40-60,000 - for three rusty old keys, that is not bad."

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