An Austrian who has created what is believed to be the world’s smallest Titanic museum in her toilet has said she would love to welcome a visitor from Belfast.
isa Maria Atteneder-Schwödiauer opened the museum in her private home in St. Florian near Linz, Austria.
The ocean liner, which was operated by the White Star Line, sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912 after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York. More than 1,500 died.
The ship was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.
Explaining that she became ‘fascinated’ by the liner’s story when she was just 9, the enthusiast said her ‘heart is in Ireland’ after spending time studying in Cork there is 20 years old and has visited Belfast many times. .
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, she said she was inspired to create the private museum in the unusual room in her house after realizing she had nowhere else to store the many memories she had accumulated over the years.
“When I came back I collected more and more things I brought back from Ireland and wanted to put them somewhere in my flat where I could see them, but the flat at the time was quite small” , she explained.
“I had these tiny toilets with white tiles and it was annoying. I started putting pictures on the door and the walls and I went to an exhibition in London and put the tickets for that exhibition on the wall.
“When my friends came over, they thought it was really funny, they started doing giveaways and giveaways, so the collection grew and grew and it really got so big at that point.
“I thought it would be good to make it a small museum, then the idea came to open the smallest titanic museum in the world.
“It was first opened in 2012. It is now a complete revival in my newly built house. I had an architect specially hired who integrated the museum into the new building.
Since then, her collection has grown and includes a large library of DVDs and CDs, a number of small original artifacts and a model of the ship that Lisa Maria is “particularly proud” to create.
“The museum is separated into different sections. There is a part that covers the music and the musicians on board,” she added.
“There is also a connection to Austria in the story of the Titanic, with 46 passengers on the ship from here and one crew member. I also cover this connection to Austria.
“On the walls I show front-page newspaper pages from Austrian newspapers that covered the story of the Titanic in 1912, not originals but very nice replicas.
“There is a model that I built myself. I’m very proud of it because I’ve never done anything like this before.
“I always try to remember the passengers who died and have great respect for them in everything I show.”
Lisa Maria explained that visitors with the opportunity to visit the museum are limited as it is her private home and the 45-year-old has a busy family life to balance with her twins.
However, she said she would “absolutely adore” a visitor from Belfast who was interested in visiting to get in touch with her.
‘No one from Belfast came, I would love to have a guest from Belfast,’ she said.
“I love the Titanic story because what happened is still relevant today.
“I was in Iceland in 2012 when the volcano erupted. I thought at the time that all of Europe stood still because no planes could take off. It reminded me of the Titanic story. people must remain humble in the face of nature.
“So many people around the world find something different in the Titanic story. There are so many angles you can look at the story. I’m not an expert myself, but I would say I am an enthusiast.
Lisa Maria has also visited Titanic Belfast on several occasions and was there for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship, where she met Dr Robert Ballard. He discovered the ship in 1985.
She said the visit to the Belfast Museum was “overwhelming”.
“I loved the different approaches to how the museum delivers information. It never gets boring, every room and every hall – everything is different from what you’ve seen before,” she added.
“If you’re not a Titanic fan, you will become one after you leave this building. It’s also done with a very humble approach.
“The fact that it doesn’t show any artifacts might be disappointing to someone expecting it, but in a way that’s good because it emphasizes the passenger story. C It is good that you cherish so closely what you have built in Belfast.
More information is available on the museum website www.titanicmuseum.at