Raise the Titanic Model Languishes in Malta

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Raise the Titanic Model Languishes in Malta

THE weather-beaten remains of the giant model used for the 1981 film flop "Raise the Titanic" is rapidly disintegrating in the village of Kalkara, Malta.

The 55-foot-long steel hull now provides an uncanny above-sea-level glimpse into how the real vessel is faring some two miles below the surface of the North Atlantic.

Nearly a quarter of a century of decay has been the model's lot since the movie, which lost £10 million and holed below the waterline Lord Lew Grade's attempt to break into Hollywood.

The natural deterioration was given a huge helping hand in January 2003 when a Force 12 storm hit the Mediterranean Film Studios on the island, where the model resides.

The storm did considerable damage, including knocking the third funnel onto the port side and stripping plates from the aftermost stack.

The result is that the structure now looks sorry indeed - and threatens to resemble the tangle of metal that is the real Titanic on the sea bed.

It is all a far cry from Lord Lew Grade's original demand that the model should be a perfect representation of the original in absolutely every detail.

It’s hard to believe that what you see here actually cost £3 million more to build and fit out than the original Titanic!

Grade's model had exactly the right number of portholes, a second skin like the original (which no-one would ever see), plus interior funnel details that were likewise invisible on screen.

A £2 million tank - 350ft across and 35ft deep - was specially built in Malta to take Lew Grade's Titanic. The tank takes nine million gallons of water and fills in about fifteen hours.

The tank remains in regular film use in Kalkara, but the Titanic is largely abandoned, having briefly impersonated her sister ship, Britannic, in a made for TV movie.

The storm now seems to have sealed her fate as an actress.

The remains of the giant model can be viewed by appointment at the Mediterranean Film Studios by visitors to Malta.

Ring Cornelia at (356) 678151, and then take Bus 4 from Valletta Central Station. Tell them the Irish guy sent you.

www.mfsstudios.com

Pictures show damage to the Titanic model in Malta, as well as an aerial view of the MFS studio tank, with the model arrowed in the lower left hand corner. A picture of a street stall in the village of Marsaxlokk shows how the Titanic pervades Maltese culture as much as anywhere else.

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Acknowledgements

Senan Molony, Ireland

Comment and discuss

  1. Lawrence said:

    Why doesn't a Titanic museum, display ot James Cameron save this piece of history?

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Citation

Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) Raise the Titanic Model Languishes in Malta ( ref: #2632, published 25 March 2004, generated 15th June 2021 08:13:34 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/raise-titanic-model-languishes-malta.html