New Titanic Treaty

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Gavin Murphy

Guest
This is an interesting thread. I think if you go to my article from a few years ago posted on ET at https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/item.php/1503.html it will provide you with some of the treaty's provisions and a link to the final text.

It has now been signed by two countries so can be implemented........but this hasn't happened yet.....in time.

Of course it is not binding on other countries, but if they run afoul of its provsions they could be subject to other sanctions.

I hope this helps.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Who will establish and enforce the guidelines to 'protect' Titanic', and who will be paying these people?
American tax dollars? British tax dollars?

Unless I'm reading the above incorrectly, it seems to frown upon the tourist dives, where the so called 'unqualified' people visit the wreck.

That may be the only way any of us have at visiting Titanic, pray that avenue is not closed off!!
Will this indeed affect the 'tourist dives'?

I just fear research of the wreck might be prevented due to this new buearocratic red tape...

regards


tarn Stephanos
 

Jon Hollis

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Jan 23, 2004
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Mike, My pleasure hope all enjoy.Had it for some time but had to sit on it until I got the full version and permission to release it.
 

Scott Newman

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Jun 16, 2004
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lol Alicia, that's funny...is this a new treaty? I've heard talks about this treaty for awhile, and the date on the pdf even says "April 2003"...so is this treaty only now being made available to the public? How does this agreement affect the Titanic TODAY?
 

Eric Paddon

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Jun 4, 2002
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"then explain what you believe is unconstitutional about it"

I've been away for a few days, but to me any treaty that attempts to place restrictions on what can and can not be done with a shipwreck that is not in American territorial waters, and which is not a warship etc. is not the business of the Federal government.

We have never needed a treaty provision to maintain all Titanic artifacts together in one collection. RMSTI has been doing that since 1987, and it did so without any efforts on the part of Robert Ballard.
 

Scott Newman

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Jun 16, 2004
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"We have never needed a treaty provision to maintain all Titanic artifacts together in one collection. RMSTI has been doing that since 1987..."

Eric, if you believe this is the case you should read news reports from May 2002. Take a look at this one for example http://www.savannahmorningnews.com/stories/050202/LOCawrTitanicArtifacts.shtml In this article RMS Titanic was refused the right to sell artifacts by the Supreme Court of Appeals. Let's not kid ourselves, RMS Titanic, Inc.is a FOR PROFIT organization.

Now, RMS Titanic Inc. has said in recent reports that they will "honor" the new treaty and help to "protect" the wreck, but my gut feeling is that it's all about the money for these guys..
 

Eric Paddon

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Jun 4, 2002
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If it were all about the money, they would have sold them a long time ago. Hearing all the doom/gloom stories of possible artifact sales all these years has increasingly taken the aura of someone holding a sign saying "The End Is Coming And This Time I Really Mean It!" with me.

But while I believe that ethically, artifacts should not be sold, I do not believe it is the legal right of the State to decide what can and can not be done with artifacts recovered by the legitimate salvors of a wreck in international waters.
 

Jon Hollis

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Jan 23, 2004
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> [Project for the dectectives out there find the location and find out where all the GOLD COINS are. Hvae heard possibly that they were put up as security for a loan to a Casino (Not White Star Casino but try a another colour..) for expedition funding. So where are they now?????]
 

Bill Willard

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Mar 24, 2001
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There should be a bit of differentitation here.

When one mentions RMSTI and the ability to sell the artifacts, please remember, RMSTI CAN SELL the artifacts to an entity approved by the court, at the time of that approval. Judge Clarke and Judge Smith have always invited proposals from the company for a transfer of guardianship of the artifacts.

This entire issue of "ownership" of the artifacts, while having a negative impression with those of us who are acutely aware of the situation, does have another side.

For example, RMSTI is required to have insurance on the artifacts. Currency was stolen from the Nashville venue, and to my knowledge, it has not been recovered. I believe the insurance was forthcoming with appropriate compensation. But let's look at a different scenario: A plate fell and was broken (or was damaged by whatever means). If the insurance pays, who gets the broken pieces of the plate? The insurance company of course. Then they can auction off the pieces of the REAL TITANIC and make more money possibly than they paid out. So RMSTI had to have a legal definition of the company's relationship and responsibilities. So what does RMSTI do? The insurance won't pay if the company doesn't turn over the pieces, and the company doesn't own the pieces to turn over.... What good then is the insurance?

It has been rumored, and justifiably so, that the current management had different intentions with the artifacts than the previous management. This is where the concern for selling the artifacts came into play. ANY SALE OF THE ARTIFACTS MUST, I REPEAT MUST, BE APPROVED BY JUDGE SMITH. Judge Clarke and Judge Smith set down specific criteria that you all know: to an entity that will keep the collection together and on public display... et al.

I am apalled by the people, including Ballard, who believe the artifacts should go back down to the ocean floor. That's destructive, and eliminates future generations from seeing these pieces as they were recovered. I don't buy the bull story that "we don't need to recover more artifacts, it just happened recently... It's not as if Titanic sank hundreds of years ago". Well friends, my great-great, etc., grandchildren WILL say that the Titanic sank hundreds of years ago. Then they'll ask why more things weren't brought up. Are we so busy stating what WE want here that we fail to think "long term" or "future generations"?

I also have heard that RMSTI "IS A FOR PROFIT" company for soooo long. Yes they are. They have investors who have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into paying for these expeditions. They have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into conserving the artifacts. Ballard went out on our taxpayer money, not his own dollars or even invested money from investors. HE COULD HAVE DONE THAT. Ask him if he ever contacted Geroge Tulloch and asked to be a part of the recovery operation. Ask him. I dare any of you.

If the artifacts are sold to a museum, or other exhibiting entity, at that time the shareholders make back their investment.

I'll agree that RMSTI has it's problems, and there are pending issues which may address some of those problems. But until then, the artifacts are overseen by Judge Smith. She's not going to allow anything improper to happen to those artifacts.

Gee, do I sound like I'm on a soapbox? Sorry.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Jon, I suggest you rethink the message Posted on Wednesday, 23 June, 2004 - 1:49 am to Alicia before action is taken. It has been reported to the moderator for this thread.
 

Jon Hollis

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Jan 23, 2004
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Fellow Members IF again IF you do not see any more photos from me or documentation Etc. Etc.Etc. The next post of mine should give you some insight and you may thank a certain party for starting this smudgepot
Jon
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>I've been away for a few days, but to me any treaty that attempts to place restrictions on what can and can not be done with a shipwreck that is not in American territorial waters, and which is not a warship etc. is not the business of the Federal government. <<

Well Eric, you may well be right. If there's a legal challange to the treaty, we'll know.

Jon, please read and heed the e-mail I'm sending your way.
 

Scott Newman

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Jun 16, 2004
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Bill,

I will respect and honor your opinion. I am new to the site so I am not familiar with all of the participants. As a member of the 1998 expedition, I am more than happy to call you an expert on this particular matter.

I must also, however, respect each individual explorer/oceanographer for the work they have done on Titanic. While I don't agree with MANY of the ideas and things Ballard has said and tried to accomplish, I refuse to hop on the "Ballard Bashing" that takes place from time to time. He's not all bad. I realize he's paid by the tax payers, but he does give back to the government. He's visiting schools, teaching, and attempting to do what he feels is right...as odd as his reasons seem...

As for RMSTI, my point was not to say that they CAN sell artifacts as they please, but was to say that they TRIED to sell artifacts. As interesting as some of these exhibits are, try to find a ticket for less than $15...I couldn't even get my parking validated.

I honestly believed Tulloch when he said that these artifacts were "not ours, they're just a voice" but even he was voted out of the company.

It's really late and I'm sorry if this letter takes the offensive. I don't even have any facts to back up my opinions. I just had a few thoughts on this matter that I wanted to share. We should all offer our honest opinions as long as they are not personal attacks...that's what I like about the site!
 

Bill Willard

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Mar 24, 2001
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Scott, your letter was not offensive in the least. You stated well your points. I also did not intend to be offensive in my post, nor did I intend to single any one person's postings out.

I respect Ballard for his accomplishments, but cringe beyond that. Everyone who "praises" Ballard will always disagree with those who "bash" him. It's because he changed positions, and he, like RMSTI, uses Titanic to his advantage. The bashers see him as hypocritical.

I am surprised the exhibits only cost $20 or less to be honest. If you went to see the King Tut exhibit in some venues, the tickets were in the $40-$50 range. For something as grand as Titanic, $15-$20 is not a bad price range. For the record, and this is based on general terms, not contractual specifics, the venue and the exhibition organizer (SFX, Clear Channel) would split the revenues. The exhibition equipment, advertising, installation, deinstallation, transportation, insurance, and other necessary expenses come from designated sides (the venue pays some, SFX/Clear Channel paid some). From these net amounts, RMSTI would receive a set payment each year from SFX/Clear Channel. From this payment, recently in the $2-$2.5 million range (per year, for as many as four exhibits during that year), RMSTI has to conserve the artifacts, pay salaries, plan expeditions, and other things. They also have legal fees that are quite high. RMSTI is requirted to make periodic reports to the Norfolk Court approximately every six months, and sometimes those reports are quite lengthy and must be presented with counsel in the Judge's Coutroom. So, RMSTI isn't bathing in a treasure bath (to steal a Mel Brooks line).

RMSTI appealed to the Supreme Court to have control of the artifacts without the Norfolk court's jurisdiction (? maybe an incorrect word here) over them, but the Supreme Court didn't hear the case. The artifacts should be put in a permanent home and current management doesn't see that as an option for the company to pursue themselves at this point. So they will have to convey the artifacts at some time to some entity who CAN take care of the artifacts and keep them on public display. That would have to involve a sale - a court approved sale. But, in no way will the Norfolk court allow a public sale of Titanic souvenirs. I don't think we will ever see that happening.

Again, your post wasn't offensive at all to me and I hope you'll accept my apology if mine was.

Bill
 

Scott Newman

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Jun 16, 2004
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Bill,

Excellent points and your post was not offensive either. IF you were to ask me a question concerning the Titanic a year ago I would have only been able to tell you that Jack dies at the end. It's only been in the last year that I have really focused in on the "facts". I enjoyed your post, to be quite honest, but I just wanted to share a few thoughts that I had. You did a nice job responding to those concerns. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it keeps the biases from both sides honest.

This whole debate between the explorers reminds me of a Republicans vs. Democrats debate. Each side has shortcomings but they spend so much time finger pointing that they refuse to look in the mirror.

Bill, you touched a little bit on the idea of Ballard inviting Tulloch on one of his expeditions, which we both know never happened. I had a thought along these same lines a few weeks ago. What kind of work could these expedition teams do if they all put aside their egos and worked together on an expedition? How would that be? Of course it won't happen...but I think we would see more secrets about the Titanic than we can only dream about now.