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Lost piece of Titanic history finally resurfaces after disappearing for 100 years

By Mirror | Jul 10th 2015 | 2 min read

Spain: A lost piece of Titanic history has finally resurfaced after being lost for 100 years.

The crucial part of the story of the most infamous ship in the world has now been revealed for the first time.

The artifact, an original plaque presented to the a shipbuilder after the ill-fated craft was completed, is now on show to the public in Spain.

The exhibition is thanks to a Granada art gallery owner who bought it unawares, simply to "decorate his room".

Neither Leo Lorenzo Sancho or his collector grandfather realised the significance of the find which had been offered for sale by a British man 12 years ago "because he needed money."

In fact, Leo's grandfather thought it had no value and no history and refused to buy it himself.

The bronze and silver plaque was presented to the Irish shipbuilder and former Southampton Mayor, Lord Williams James Pirríe, chairman of Harland and Wolff, during a ceremony in the city on April 9th, 1912.

The Titantic had just been built in his shipyard and the plaque, weighing just 1.8 kilos, recorded the liner as the "latest, largest and finest steamer afloat", naming it the "Queen of the ocean".

Six days later, the Titantic had sunk on its maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg.

The tiny plaque, measuring just 28.5 centimetres by 37cms, has an inner light which illuminates an image of the Titantic and still has its original lamp and electrical wiring.

The plaque was taen to the chairman's office but lost amongst the clutter until that chance offering in a Barcelona art gallery where Leo listened to the conversation with his grandfather.

He was already a young fan of the Titantic story and bought it himself, against his grandfather's advice.

Just a few days ago, he asked the Titantic Foundation if they would like to include it in an exhibition at the Granada Science Park and the plaque is now the star attraction in "Titantic, the Reconstruction" where it is being seen by the public for the first time.

The Foundation says it has offered "significant amounts" to acquire the amazing find but for now at least, the owner has no intention of selling.

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