Titanic, the Exhibition opens on the anniversary of the "unsinkable" ship's sinking, giving visitors a chance to see items recovered from the ocean floor as well as parts of the ship itself. After taking a leisurely stroll through the exhibit, visitors can browse the gift shop. There, they'll be able to buy replicas of dishware, cocktail glasses and jewelry recovered from the boat, as well as the CD Music Aboard the Titanic, a "Titanic tapestry" throw rug that "adds elegance to any decor," an "elegant seven-inch stein" decorated with an etched print of the ship (perfect for drowning your sorrows), a 3-D Titanic puzzle that allows youngsters to put the boat back together again, stuffed bears in naval uniforms, tubes of candy with sinking ships for stoppers and "Titanic coal" with a certificate of authenticity.
The mission statement for Titanic, the Exhibition reads, "In a generation, possibly two, corrosion and bacterial activity will take their toll. The wreck will no longer exist." Given that this exhibit is the preservation of a wreck -- the accident scene we love to stare at -- the notion of a gift shop (which doesn't stock inflatable luggage) may feel a little unseemly. But gift shop operator Larry Gilbert, who has heard his share of complaints that the display "commercializes the atrocity of the Titanic," assures potential visitors that coordinators have "made a real effort to create a serious retail display." He says the exhibit and gift shop "really honor the Titanic and the people who perished._ Most people find it inspiring."
Either way, visitors may catch wind of the feeling experienced by officer Henry T. Wilde, who served on board the Titanic and wrote in a letter to his sister, "I still don't like this ship. I have a queer feeling about it."