Laws about ownership of Titanic artifacts


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Andrew Parodi

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I have heard that, for example, there are laws against a private individual owning a rock from the moon. I remember seeing a documentary about an auction they had at Sotheby's, and there were policemen there to stop an auction of a rock from the moon. The "justification" for this is that all rocks from the moon that have been brought to earth are from official exploration of the moon, have been catalogued by the US government, and that, therefore, anyone who has a piece of the moon in their personal collection has stolen it from the US government since they have never opened such things up for sale to the general public.

I was wondering if similar laws exists about Titanic artifacts. Are there laws saying that they can only be used for educational purposes, or is it just a case of ownership: the people who own the rights to the wreck have not opened it up for personal ownership, but certainly could if they wanted.

With this question in mind, I was wondering if it is known that any individual owns a Titanic artifact in their personal collection. It sounds almost, well, offensive to consider it. But, then again, I know of people who actually have mummies - real human bodies - in their collection. A family member is friends with a man who owns a mummy (which has been lent to a museum).
 
Sep 2, 2009
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Andrew:

There are several of us "Titanic Buffs" out there that own a recovered "Titanic Artifact" in our personal collections. How techonical do you want to get on this subject?

I own several pieces of "Titanic's Coal" that was sold to me and anyone else who wanted a piece by RMS Titanic Inc.

I also have a few pieces of RMS Titanic Stationary, like others from the Boston Exhibit with rust stains on them as they were rubbed up against the wet big piece upon its arrival in Boston Harbor.
 
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Andrew Parodi

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Thanks for your reply.

So, you actually have stationary that was recovered from the wreck? In other words, authentic stationary that was on board Titanic (not some kind of commemorative reproduction)?

I have heard about the Titanic coal, and I had thought that was the only "artifact" they allow for sale. So, when I refer to artifact, I meant something more like the stationary, etc.

Part of me has second thoughts about the "morality" of owning something from Titanic, even the coal. Another part of me can't deny that, if I could, I'd like to have that "Big Piece" myself.

On the documentary Titanic: Death of a Dream/Legend Lives On someone comments that the Titanic will not be a "myth" to future generations, but a fact. So, I tend to view Titanic now as being something like the Ancient Egyptian artifacts: it's an important part of world history that I think should be preserved (and if we just left it all sitting down at the bottom of the Atlantic, then it will just be eaten and rusted away very shortly).
 
Sep 2, 2009
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Andrew Wrote:

"So, you actually have stationary that was recovered from the wreck? In other words, authentic stationary that was on board Titanic (not some kind of commemorative reproduction)?"

To clear this up I have a few sheets of letterhead from the company "RMS Titanic, Inc." the salvager, that were rubbed on the big piece when it arrived in Boston. Given the fact that the "big piece" was wet rust stains from it were transferred to this letterhead.

So therefore I have a very, very small amount of rust and grime from the "big piece".
 
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Andrew Parodi

Guest
Oh, I get it.

Did they do that on purpose? I mean, was that the idea, or did paper accidentally get on the "big piece"? (Probably a dumb question, but I want to understand exactly what you mean.)
 

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