'Titanic tat' sign of the times

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Memorabilia from the ill-fated Titanic has continued to fascinate collectors around the world, even though it is not always in the best taste.

Belfast City Council is looking for people who might have something suitable for a forthcoming Easter exhibition at the city hall, Titanic - An Image.

The whole story surrounding the ship has been a marketing phenomenon since the 1997 release of the Hollywood film, and Una Reilly of the Belfast Titanic Society said they wanted to take a look at changing attitudes.

"We are going to reflect on how Titanic is portrayed in modern society, and how (that depiction) has changed since the disaster," she said.

The organisers hope to showcase not just heartfelt commemorations but also the numerous tawdry cash-ins that have appeared down the years.

Anyone with a spare £50 might be able to buy something like a piece of Titanic coal brought up from the seabed, gold-encased and transformed into a necklace.

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