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Vast exhibition space for New York

THE Discovery Channel and the production company Running Subway have teamed up to create a Times Square exhibition space for blockbuster experiential shows such as "Titanic" and "Tutankhamun."

It will be known as Discovery Times Square Exposition.

The two companies announced yesterday that they merged their expertise so more big, "immersive" exhibitions could find a home in New York City.

"So often, these major exhibitions bypass New York because there's no venue for them because of the size, the time requirements and expense," said Running Subway Executive Producer James Sanna.

"Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," for example, has never been to New York even though it has been shown in many major cities around the world.

Slated to open June 24, the Discovery Times Square Exposition's vast space - the size of nearly two athletic fields over two floors - will simultaneously feature two exhibitions that explore cultural and historical events.

"Titanic" and "Lucy's Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia" will be the opening shows.

All the installations planned for the Discovery Times Square Exposition will be enhanced with additional artifacts not seen elsewhere. Of the 350 artifacts in the Titanic exhibition, 40 have never been seen before, Sanna said.

After the first two shows close, "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" will open in early spring of 2010.

The show toured four United States cities - but not New York - in 2005-2007. Featuring 130 objects, it is twice as large as the Tut show that first came to the US in the 1970s, debuting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The shows will be "immersive" and "exploratory," said Tom Cosgrove, Discovery Channel's chief operating officer.

For example, in the Titanic exhibition, extensive stateroom re-creations are mixed with authentic artifacts retrieved from the ocean's floor "that hopefully bring you closer to what it was really like" on the passenger ship before it hit an iceberg and sank in 1912.


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