- Aug 29, 2000
Am a little hesitant to broach this subject for fear one might think I am pointing an accusing finger or trying to generate negative feelings.. So with this as a preface, let me just say I am INTERESTED to know how folks out there feel about selling things that belonged to SURVIVORS or to a ship PRIOR to sinking vs. selling VICTIM'S things or items POST sinking. This question began to form in my mind when I heard that bits of cork, deck chair caning, and threads from Titanic's rug are being sold by a historical society on ebay. The motive is to finance a museum to house a collection. How do you all feel about this? When RMST sold coal (borrowed from other ships to fill Titanic's bunkers in 1912 due to an ongoing coalstrike)there was a great hue and cry about this. As of this hour no salvaged items of personal nature or parts of the ship have been sold. Hope that remains the case. Have already stated my salvage opinion elsewhere-which WAS pro with restrictions and conditions attached as to the artifact's future placement in a museum. Is it Ok to sell an artifact if it escaped from a disaster? Is it worth more or less than something that was actually an integral piece of a disaster?Should pieces of memorabilia be divided into parts- thus affecting the integrity of the piece as a whole? I have seen bits of wallpaper from Lincoln's dying room sold off by the square inch. Or should these things remain intact as they were recovered. IMHO, these things should remain in one piece. I am a little concerned to see this going on -and a little surprised that a vehemently ANTI -salvage, pro artifact protection organization is promoting chipping off bits to sell of historic items. Please don't accuse me of crying foul because I am a member of that OTHER group- I'd feel the same way regardless. We had a section of Titanic's lifeboat rope donated by a custom's inspector on the pier when Carpathia dropped the T's boats- lots of folks were scavenging the boats for bits and souvenirs. While I had the rope at a textile school for conservation, bits did fall off but were gathered and kept-and were not sold. (The material was oiled hemp by the way). The University archived a fiber for its collection. Just wanted to get other thoughts and reactions. Am now running for cover!