The first and deputy first ministers have joined in remembering the victims of the Titanic disaster during a visit to the Titanic Belfast complex.
Peter Robinson said the building, which opens on Saturday, was a celebration of the workmanship that led to Belfast being a world leader in shipbuilding.
Martin McGuinness said the building was also a fine commemoration of the more than 1,500 people who lost their lives.
He revealed that a relative, Hugh Rooney, had worked on the ship.
Mr Robinson was asked on BBC Radio Evening Extra programme about the significance of Martin McGuinness standing beside him in shipyard surroundings that many Catholics previously regarded as hostile.
"I think it further demonstrates that we are indeed in a new era," he said.
"There's a new spirit in Northern Ireland, there's a strong confidence for the people of Northern Ireland that they can move forward, that they can work towards prosperity.
"So I think it's a sign of the times that people in Northern Ireland have now left the Troubles behind and they are wanting to see a bright future."'World leader'
The first minister said the Titanic Belfast complex was a facility that people from Northern Ireland and from around the world "would just have to see".
"It's a facility that matches anything else in the world," he said.
"It is a celebration of the workmanship that led to Belfast being the world leader in shipbuilding a century ago, but it is also a commemoration to mark the death, in the icy seas of the Atlantic of over 1,500 people."
Martin McGuinness said: "It's an absolutely stunning building and as I predicted in the United States last week, this would be a world news story and it certainly has been in the course of the last couple of days.
"At the time when we were taking our decision at the executive to pour something like £40m into this, some questions were asked, because of the history of it, if we should be doing this.
"I have to say I was always very much in favour of this, because this is our attempt to write a new history, to move forward in a positive and constructive way, a very inclusive way."
Mr McGuinness said he had a "great stake" in the weekend's events because his father's uncle, Hugh Rooney, worked in the shipyard as a carpenter-joiner and helped with fitting out the Titanic in 1911.
"I'm very proud of that and I'm very proud of our family's association with that event at that time," he said.
Headlines Newsview all
Mugger attacks disabled pensioner who weighs less than six stone, is 4ft 6in tall and partially sighted
A disabled 67-year-old who is just 4ft 6in tall was attacked by a cowardly thug who demanded money as he was putting his bins out.Alan ... Full story
Sisters handed £110,000 after father's death - but were forced to pay it all back because it was the wrong man's money
Two sisters handed a £110,000 windfall after their father's death have been forced to pay it all back and more - after an insurance company ... Full story
Extraordinary collection of post-war photos bought for £13 at a car boot sale shows how we used to live
The memories may have faded, but these newly-found photos of bygone Britain are so clear they look as though they could have been taken yesterday.The ... Full story
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
Blake Lavak has been criticised for telling women to 'play it hot from day one' in his new dating book. But his method - which ...
Sarah Palin is so right wing, she thinks FOX News is left of centre. So she probably wasn’t expecting to be the catalyst of a $25,000 ...
With British Airways overhauling its frequent-flier points system, many have reacted angrily, believing that the airline has "devalued" their Air Miles. It's not quite like that and ...
Russians aren’t drinking as much as they used to as tumbling oil prices tip the country’s economy into recession, hitting brewer Carlsberg and Diageo, whose ...
The locations of new "stealth" cameras that will be deployed around Britain’s busiest motorways to enforce variable speed limits have been revealed. Already in place on ...
At least 50 people have been injured – more than 20 of them youngsters – after a gas explosion outside a maternity and children's hospital ...
The wife of Isis hostage Kenji Goto has broken her silence for the first time since her husband was captured. Mr Goto, a freelance journalist, was ...
'A wonderful, wonderful sound': Man breaks down after hearing voicemail from his late wife that was lost for 14 years
A husband who thought the voicemail message of his late wife he had been saving was lost forever has been reunited with it after 14 ...
Samsung Electronics’ decreasing smartphone sales saw it post its first decline in annual profits for three years, a day after archrival Apple’s iPhone success helped ...
The teenager who murdered teacher Ann Maguire has lost an appeal to see his 20-year minimum term reduced. Will Cornick, now 16, was 15-years-old when ...