Artifacts raised from the Empress


Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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I have seen articles raised from the Empress of Ireland a few times on ebay. Is it legal to do so and are there any laws protecting the wreck? BTW, the prices realised on the recovered items weren't high, though.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2210037606&category=14053

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2210057180&category=14053

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2210058708&category=14053

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2206259957&category=14053
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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The wreck is now closed to artifact gathering, and has been since 1996. However, the items he is selling were recovered in the early 1980s and early 1990s before the wreck was closed. He is one of the better eBay dealers- packs well and ships promptly, and in a great many transactions I have made with him have not found myself to have been mislead.
 
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Chris Klausen

Guest
You should! I've bought many terrific "Empress" artifacts from him and he's a pleasure to deal with!
 
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Chris Klausen

Guest
Yes, These are his higher end items that he has listed now. Collecting "Empress" items has been a fun hobby for me. Probably 50 people I know that never heard of the ship now know a great deal about it. It also makes me feel that the poor souls that lost their lives in the accident are better remembered, like their counterparts on the "Titanic" and "Lusitania".
 
Aug 31, 2004
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Don't you think it's a bit disrespectful to rob the grave of over 1000 people? Some people even buy the bones and skulls of the dead. Have you no shame?
 
Feb 14, 2011
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("....People buy the bones and skulls of the dead"..)


Now thats an urban legend if Ive heard one....

I have a few empress items I bought from 'bartifacts' on Ebay, and display them proudly in my collection.
If you want to point the finger at grave robbers, go after any museum that has Egyptian arifacts.


regards


tarn Stephanos
 
Aug 31, 2004
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Yes, but the ancient Egyptians for the most part weren't victims of a horrible accident that sent over 1,000 people to their watery grave. It is wrong to steal from graves, but the Egyptians died of old age or other naturaul causes, as the Empress victims died at 2 o' clock in the morning after being awakened only to freeze to death or be trapped in dark corridors.
 
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Chris Klausen

Guest
It is a tough issue. There are no personal items in my collection just artifacts like plates silverware and other parts of the ship itself. I look at my collection as a memorial to those lost.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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There is no way to claim the recovery and exhibition of Egyptian relics is anything BUT grave robbery...
The mummies- corpses-put on display, takes tastelessness to a whole new level...
Plus the Egyptians felt what they were buried with they took to the afterlife, and such beliefs were totally ignored by westerners who defiled thier tombs, and ransacked the contents so as to add to museum collections.
The pyramids are tombs.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Have I no shame?
93004.jpg

No. Am utterly and completely shameless. The artifacts Bart sells have no direct connection to any of the passengers or crew, were not taken from "the Boneyard" and were removed while it was still legal to do so- and, were also legally exported from Canada. So, grave robber seems a bit of a strong term to apply towards someone who operated within the system, and who, BTW, is one of the better wreck historians one is likely to meet. Awaiting, with interest, any proof that body parts are being sold from this wreck.
 
Aug 31, 2004
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Have you happened to read "Dark Descent?" It is very good, and it portrays what the very first divers encountered, "Hideously decomposed bodies," and, "Things the divers couldn't imagine in their worst nightmares" I'm thinking you'd feel different if you dove to the Empress and came face to face with a rotted corpse. But, as you say, you have no shame or respect for the dead who lie some 200ft below the surface of the icy St. Lawrence.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>But, as you say, you have no shame or respect for the dead who lie some 200ft below the surface of the icy St. Lawrence.<<

Nope...that's not what Mr. Kalafus said. What he said was in reference to artifacts legally obtained from reputable dealers. I have no issues with that and see no reason why anyone should. Please be so kind as to avoid caustic and offensive strawman arguements and address what was said, not what wasn't said!
 
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Jim Kalafus

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Matthew: Perhaps your reading comprehension is not the best- I never mentioned having no respect for the people who died, 'though yes, I am utterly shameless about buying legally salvaged artifacts from the liner. Ironic that you should mention Dark Descent in this context. I have known Kevin McMurray for over ten years (a neighbor and customer of my video store) and he is not opposed to artifact recovery- in fact, at his last local speech he basically referred to it as harmless.

The moving of body parts to improve photo composition (which has happened 'though I am not certain if it has been done aboard the Empress) IS utterly wrong and disrespectful, and the harvesting of skulls (again, regrettably has happened, 'though not recently and I am not sure if aboard the Empress) loathesome, but since this thread was initially about artifacts being legally sold by a reputable dealer and not body tampering, your over the top bombast is not only misplaced but borderline libelous - you seem to be implying that Bart indulges in such practices. Did you also happen to notice that he is a recurring figure in....you guessed it...Dark Descent?

Continuing, if I were to dive to the Empress and discover a rotted corpse I'd certainly feel different about diving, but not artifact recovery, just as if I went desert hiking and found a rotted corpse, it might alter my opinion about hiking, but not my opinion on the legality of fossil gathering. In either case, one thing has nothing to do with the other. How would I feel if I were one of the divers who recovered corpses in 1914? At this point, doubtlessly I'd feel old....very old....which is generally how 108 year old men feel. Would it haunt your dreams and shatter your illusions if I told you that I know, from experience, that people engaged in body recovery are not above souvenier harvesting, and it is very likely that the 1914 Empress divers carried away small items themselves?

You've been asked, here and on another thread, to provide further detail regarding the sale of body parts from the Empress. I'm asking again- from where did you get that particular canard? I am being very specific, and asking only about the SALE of body parts, not removal. To whom, and by whom are they being sold? Where? When? Lots of reputable divers, (and 99% of the dive community is reputable) are quite curious.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>PS: Thank you, Mr. Standart. And, Jim will do.....<<

Not a problem Jim. (And I'm just plain old Mike.) BTW, that's an interesting artifact in the photo you posted. Is it a cup or what? 'Fraid I can't see the whole thing.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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It is a scalloped nut bowl. Bart had recovered it in a stack- it had not been used on the fatal voyage- and so must of the silverplate survived. There is about an inch of "river wear" around the top edge, where it was not covered by the other bowl in which it nested, but aside from that is in excellent shape.
 
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Chris Klausen

Guest
I have one also from Bart. After doing some research and talking to Bart I believe they were actually finger dipping bowls for the 1st class passengers.
 

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