Page last updated at 18:07 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 19:07 UK

Titanic life-size replica planned

The Titanic
The Titanic was built in Belfast's Harland and Woolf shipyard

A life-size replica of parts of the Titanic could be added to Belfast's Odyssey Arena if a US-backed development plan is accepted.

Suspended behind glass, the 64m scale model of the boat would incorporate a five-star hotel, an exhibition area and conference rooms.

The Odyssey Trust and Florida-based exhibition firm WLM Inc are seeking more than 39m in government funding.

The 100th anniversary of the tragedy in 2012 is expected to attract tourists.

The proposal by American Titanic enthusiast Michael Harris includes a large scale model of the ship as well as life-size replicas of various parts of its interior.

Mr Harris already runs a large Titanic exhibition in Florida and has been to Belfast recently to discuss his proposals with partners in Northern Ireland.

A decision on whether the project will be allowed to go ahead will be made this summer.

Mr Harris said the replica would be suspended 50 feet above the ground.

"The ship will be interactive and visitors will be able to explore its intricacies before travelling into actual re-creations of some of its most important elements including walking the grand staircase and seeing the luxury of the first class eating and sleeping facilities, as well as the great boilers and the bridge before venturing outside to experience the magnitude of the tragedy of April 14, 1912," he said.

The Titanic Quarter project has run into difficulties after failing to secure lottery money, even though more than two-thirds of the funding has already been secured.

It emerged earlier this year that Belfast City Council may invest 10m of ratepayers' money to ensure it goes ahead.

The Titanic was built in the city's Harland and Wolff shipyard before going on to sink on its maiden voyage, killing more than 1,500 people.

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27 Mar 08 |  Northern Ireland
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19 Oct 07 |  Northern Ireland
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05 Oct 07 |  Northern Ireland
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17 Jul 06 |  Northern Ireland
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11 Aug 05 |  Northern Ireland

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