'Shipwreck' Opens at Charlotte's Discovery Place
Guests can dive into the world of underwater exploration when "Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure" drops anchor at Discovery Place Saturday, July 4.
The museum's newest exhibition comes directly from Odyssey Marine Exploration, the world leader in the field of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration and will be showcased in the museum's newly renovated, traveling exhibition hall.
After previous successful engagements in New Orleans, La., and Tampa, Fla., Detroit, Mich., and Oklahoma City, Okla., Charlotte is the fifth destination of Odyssey's
multi-media, traveling exhibition which blends historic artifacts, sunken treasure and hands-on, educational, interactive elements.
Visitors can plunge into the experience, the research, archaeological recovery and conservation involved in the quest for
deep-sea knowledge and treasures.
"Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure" takes visitors on a thrilling adventure thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean and hundreds of years back in time. The nearly 11, 000 square-foot exhibition features hundreds of artifacts recovered from actual Odyssey deep-ocean archaeological excavations which tell captivating stories about each shipwreck and life during the time of the sinking.
"We're thrilled to bring this exhibit to Discovery Place, which is one of the top science museums in the country," said John Longley, director of business development for Odyssey Marine Exploration. "We're looking forward to sharing the research, science and technology behind our shipwreck expeditions and sharing the artifacts and treasures we've recovered from the SS Republic and other shipwrecks with Discovery Place visitors. With North Carolina's rich shipwreck history, this exhibition is a perfect match for Discovery Place."
The exhibition displays authentic artifacts and information from many different shipwrecks including the "Blue China," which contains the remains of a 17th century unidentified American coastal trader and a 17th century Spanish shipwreck, code-named the "Tortugas" wreck.
The spotlight of the exhibition is the SS Republic, America's most-famous Civil War-Era shipwreck. The ship sank during a hurricane off the coast of Georgia in 1865. Discovered again in the summer of 2003 nearly 1,700 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, the recovery effort became the world's most extensive, deep-ocean, archaeological excavation. More than 51,000 gold and silver coins were recovered along with approximately 14,000 additional Civil War-era artifacts.
"'Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure' is the perfect exhibition to debut the first, renovated section of the Museum," said John Mackay, president and CEO for Discovery Place.
"This exhibition blends cutting-edge science with real-world history which is indicative of the kind of topical science we plan to present in this transformation of the new Discovery Place."
Families navigating through the exhibition can discover what it takes to be a deep-ocean explorer, learn about the research, technology, archaeological recovery and conservation involved in the quest for deep-sea knowledge and treasures and battle the forces of nature in a 75-mph hurricane tube.
Additionally, guests can walk the plank to get an up-close look at the world of pirates, including the legend of North Carolina's most notorious pirate, Blackbeard.
In addition, Discovery Place will feature artifacts from one of North Carolina's most famous shipwrecks, Blackbeard's purported flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, on loan from the North Carolina Museum of History that is currently featuring the Knights of the Black Flag exhibition.
A simultaneous display of SS Republic artifacts will be showcased at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. This artifact display loan between the North Carolina Museum of History, North Carolina Maritime Museum, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and Discovery Place is made possible through Odyssey's partnership with Intersal Inc., which discovered Queen Anne's Revenge along the North Carolina coast at Beaufort Inlet in 1996.
Visitors can complete their underwater experience with "Under the Sea: The IMAX Experience." Narrated by Jim Carrey, the deep-sea adventure transports moviegoers to some of the most exotic and isolated undersea locations on earth and allows them to experience
face-to-face encounters with some of the mysterious and stunning creatures of the sea.
"Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure" is on display at Discovery Place from July 4-Jan. 31, and is free with museum admission.
Ticket pricing is: $10 for adults (14-59); $8 for children (2-13) and seniors (60+); and free for children younger than 2. Tickets can be purchased online at discoveryplace.org; in person at the Museum or by calling 877-849-4377. Group discounts and reservations are available.
Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum's parking garage -- the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex -- at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets.
For more information about Discovery Place, guests should call 704- 372-6261 or visit discoveryplace.org.
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