Artifacts raised from the Empress


Status
Not open for further replies.
Jan 4, 2005
50
0
156
Point #1 - It is NOT profiting.
Anyone can argue the preservation of these historical relics is far from profiting off a disaster. The problem lies within most people not having a historical view on the past and how important it is to preserve these items. While the example here states ocean liner artifacts.. what of others? The major museums of the world contain artifacts associated with the loss of lives... primarily the Holocaust Museum. What profit is there to be made there? Admission for the upkeep of the display? It is for the education of the public and to keep history alive. Most people I know never heard of concentration camps, yet those few who ventured to the museum, myself included - leaves you with a deep understanding and respect for what happened. It is for the education of the public - not profiting.

Point #2 - The pieces in my collection are hard to come by, yes - yet the most valuable of them are from retired liners... woodwork from the Aquitania, Souvenir from the Lusitania (pre-sinking), RMS Mauretania china. Just because it sank, doesn't mean it's worth more - it just gives its history more composure.

Point #3 - Yes, what you stated is a sad effort to make money by those without respect. "I'm going to go sell paper that fell out of the WTC on 9/11" or "I'm going to sell debris from the tsunami" They are meaningless items what are a last ditch effort by some to make money on a disaster.. don't believe everyone is as such. Historians revere these items with the respect they deserve. Are you saying lost love letters from a Civil War soldier who died should disappear forever because selling them to a museum is a mindless act? Should items passed down from generation to generation in families not be sold because they are associated with value and someone who died? It is the meaning I am receiving on this end. I collect these items and use them in teaching students about history and using these items always generates more interest and response in a given event. If I wanted to make money - I could easily sell off what I have and make a small mint - but I intend to keep them to the end and am constantly educating even my family members who see these pieces and inquire as to their past. I restate as before - I know if I was a passenger who perished in a shipwreck, I would want my personal effects saved and their story told rather than have them disappear forever.

The final point is - it is not "profiting" a disaster by any means.. it is about preservation for the future generations to learn about and learn from.

Regards,
Eddie Petruskevich
http://westphalia101.tripod.com
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
37
398
Matthew- it is not profiting from a disaster by the standards of our day, and certainly not by the standards of the day in which the Empress was lost. The selling of 9/11 artifacts, viewed with revulsion in the present (by some) would have been greeted as par-for-the-course had the event happened in 1914. You've seen the famous photo of the souvenier stand selling "Earthquake Debris" standing in the middle of a sea of earthquake debris anyone could have taken for free, San Francisco 1906, haven't you? You've read the account (by a credible reporter) of hucksters in the street in front of the Triangle Factory selling cheap costume jewlery as "rings from the finger of a dead girl" have you not? Seen the "before and after" lithos of (usually female) crime victims suitable for in-parlor display? Familiar with the stereocard of the Civil War soldier blown in two with the cannon ball TOO artfully placed in between his disarticulated pieces (photographer must have dropped it there to aid the compostion) and his face showing?

ALthough, by 1914, the Victorian obsession with violent death was on the wane, I can assure you that had it been possible to recover Empress artifacts cheaply, someone would have done so and sold them. And they would have been displayed in "curio cabinets" next to pieces of rope cut from the nooses of famous criminals, walking sticks made from Sultana debris, pieces of fused ironwork from the ill fated Windsor Hotel, and other souveniers de morte.

And, as for your specific present day examples, it is FAR from the same thing which, had you taken the time to think before you wrote that, I'm sure you would have realised. The WTC disaster is still recent enough that there is a plentiful supply of survivors, and friends and families of victims, to be potentially offended by the sale. And, yes, since I know what is about to be asked, I know several survivors and, as it transpired, knew several victims. In 91 years, the WTC debris will, like that of the Empress, have moved from symbol of living history to historic curiosity, and at that point the legal sale of it will NOT be offensive.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
37
398
Thanks. I enjoyed going through your site- sent an email through the contact section praising it. Extremely well done.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>The selling of these artifacts is simply profiting off a disaster. You cannot dispute that.<<

Yes I can, but Jim and Eddie already beat me to it. Recovery and preservation of historically signifigent artifacts is far from being a very lucrative business. In point of fact, it is not for nothing that salvage is called a good way to turn a large fortune into a very small one. It's a risky, dangerous and expensive business with the returns on any investment being far from a sure thing.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
37
398
When you think about it, was not A Night to Remember profiting off the deaths of 1503 people? Are all of the Titanic videos, books, lithos, societies, websites PROFITING OFF DISASTER since, after all, had the Titanic survived her voyage the stories of her passengers and crew would not nearly be so in demand nearly a century later? Are all of the shipwreck and other disaster themed books CALLOUS PROFITEERING? Is everyone on this site, by extention, a heartless ghoul for sharing a common interest in a major catastrophe and, in most cases, contributing money to those who PROFIT from disaster by writing books, creating artwork, composing music about an event which killed 1503 people? No, of course not, these are all ridiculously overblown generalisations, but in the limited context of

>SOMEONE profited for someone else's loss.

can be said to be true.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
37
398
Just today received a lovely Third Class milk pitcher salvaged from the Andrea Doria
93559.jpg

which is going to make an interesting display piece by nature of the way it has deteriorated. The "face" is entirely intact and looks much as it did in 1956, while the back is intact but terribly pitted and eroded- it manages to look "pretty" but still convey its history in no uncertain terms.
 
Aug 31, 2004
192
0
181
I would still be interested in the Titanic if it had survived.
I would still be interested in the Empress.
I would still be interested in the Doria.

I am involved in a love affair with beautiful maidens and gentle giants, not with decrepit wrecks and rusty artifacts.

It's not just the deceased who I'm sorry for, I'm sorry for the beautiful lady, her corpse sitting on the cold ocean floor being ripped apart by people coming and going.

I would like to own a piece of a great liner-A brochure, a deck plan, a photograph, a model, a book, something taken off before the disaster.

In a way, I'm glad some of the sensuous maidens of the sea did sink. They didn't have to be betrayed by their creators and scrapped-sold to a maniacal grim reaper to die in fear.

The scrapped ships were murdered.
The Andrea Doria was raped and abandoned to die in the darkness, as was the Empress. The Titanic was just an accident.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
37
398
>The Andrea Doria was raped and abandoned to die in the darkness, as was the Empress. The Titanic was just an accident.

Ehhh? WHAT?
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
37
398
I definitely find view #2 more 'interesting.'
#1 is quite beautiful, 'though a common view, and captures what a noble fellow Admiral Doria was before his unfortunate rape and abandonment.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
37
398
>Hoffer says it in the first chapter of SAVED!

Yes, I know, and it triggered my gag reflex there, too.
 
Aug 31, 2004
192
0
181
>>what a noble fellow Admiral Doria was before his unfortunate rape and abandonment<<

Argument aside, that's the funniest thing I've heard today.
 
Jan 4, 2005
50
0
156
Thanks for the letter Jim! Hoping to get on the QM2 soon as I grad college - time will tell. After viewing this thread tonight - I went back to my room to look at my Empress artifacts in their cases and casually flipped through the original copy of the book on it from 1914. It still is a wonder these pieces survived nearly a century for their stories to be told. I'm sure you appreciate yours just as much as I do mine.

Regards,
Eddie Petruskevich
http://westphalia101.tripod.com
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>In a way, I'm glad some of the sensuous maidens of the sea did sink. They didn't have to be betrayed by their creators and scrapped-sold to a maniacal grim reaper to die in fear.

The scrapped ships were murdered.
The Andrea Doria was raped and abandoned to die in the darkness, as was the Empress. The Titanic was just an accident.<<

Say what????

May I ask why any of this is an arguement against salvage/recovery/conservation/preservation?

If anything, I think it undermines your position. Personally, I'd rather not see any ship sink, and I'd rather not see any of the great ones end up in the scrapyard, but it's going to happen. If anything, this reality makes the recovery and preservation of artifacts even more important regardless of how or from where it's made to happen. If those pieces of history are not preserved, then they're lost forever.
 
Aug 31, 2004
192
0
181
I think this thread should go back to disscussing artifact collections. I'm sorry for my comments and odd quotes...
I ask permission to delete my previous comments.
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Aug 20, 2000
8,239
29
398
Niagara Falls, Ontario
From the Montreal Gazette:

Negotiations stalled to obtain ship wreckage for museum exhibit

Nearly a century after Canada's deadliest maritime disaster, negotiations between the country's main history museum and a Quebec diver over artifacts from the sunken Empress of Ireland have reached an impasse.

For the rest of the story, click here.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads

Similar threads