The results of two years of work were on display today, Oct. 3, as the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Maritime Ship Modelers Guild unveiled a refurbished, 13-foot model of the Cunard liner, RMS Franconia. Originally donated to the museum by the Cunard Line in 1955, the model spent many years languishing in storage, in need of repair. In July of 2003, the Franconia Project officially began as members of the Maritime Ship Modelers Guild took on the challenge of the restoration. Treating the model like an archaeological site, volunteers completely dismantled each piece of the ship and carefully catalogued all of the parts. The modelers then identified the tasks that needed to be tackled, assigning a working group from the modeler’s complement to each of the various steps. The model is an example of a builder’s model, large models that were constructed at the same time as the ships themselves, using the same plans. Intended to grace the boardrooms, lobbies and ticket offices of steamship companies, these models had a unique level of accuracy, finish and detail. Thanks to the specially built workshop constructed to house the model during refurbishment, the lengthy restoration process became one of the museum’s most popular working exhibits. Countless museum visitors witnessed the evolution of the project first-hand, taking advantage of the opportunity to speak directly with the volunteers. Commodore Ronald Warwick, captain of the Queen Mary 2, returned to the museum to help members of the guild and museum staff celebrate the completion of the project. In 2004, during the Queen Mary 2’s inaugural visit to Halifax, Commodore Warwick participated in the Franconia Project by reinstalling the model’s funnel. The restored Franconia now has a permanent spot in the museum’s displays. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is located at 1675 Lower Water St. in Halifax, and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.