Should they recover artifacts


Matt Smith

Do you think that they should recover artifacts? I know that there are many opinions out there but do you agree or disagree?

I think that they should under the rules that it must not be from the ship but from around on the ocean floor and that the artifacts must not be sold but put on display. I think that people can learn a lot from the artifacts and they can keep the Titanic story alive.
Matt. RE: Titanic artifact recovery. Well, my answer is twofold. 1. The people to ask, I believe, are the victims and family. It was their ultimate loss. 2. Now that they have done it, the real question is, what are they going to do with it? Unfortunately we have instances where artifacts have attempted to be stolen, and now comes the legality of keeping the artifacts together, and not sold for gain, or to pay off the debt that has built up.
What makes Titanic so special and different? Artifact recovery and salvage happens all the time, on and about ships, but 95% of the time I fail to see the outcry, outrage, or applause for them. I also believe that it has allot to do with how it is presented and if the purpose is well defined beforehand. For example: The Civil War ironclad "USS Monitor". They have been trying to recover the vessel since ~1974~. Not just the goods that fell out when she sank. I sat on the edge of my seat this past summer, and cheered for them with great reverence when they succeeded in bringing up the turret. As they long suspected, there was human remains inside, and personal reminders of that fateful night. 12-31-1862. (Disclaimer..I am not trying to say we should attempt to bring up the Titanic in any way, shape or form.) Though I don't live where the restoration and display will be, from what I understand from those that do live there, they are proud to have her to display as part of their heritage. Her purpose was well defined, and with lots of hard work and determination, the Monitor is available for generations to come.
I look forward to one day seeing the USS Monitor in person, and since the Titanic artifacts are in my home state, I am anxious to see them, too.
I have always had mixed emotions on this issue. While I have always enjoyed seeing the artifacts in museums, I still feel that the area where the Titanic rests is a gravesite and should be respected as such. While people tend to think as the Titanic disaster as something that happened a long time ago, there are a few people alive today who are still greatly affected by this tragedy.
I agree with all of you.I agree with what they said when they found it that it should left alone.But I have mixed feelings on it when I went to the exhibit I felt amazed. I will always remember seeing the d deck door.I want my children to see what I have saw and if the items were not saved they might not get the chance to see a piece of history that changed the world in many ways.I plan on going back many times and taking my little boys with me.I would love for them to see the items.To me each and every item I looked at moved me I felt like I was paying my respects to the lives lost.
I guess I felt compelled to voice an opinion.

I have always found it odd that most people opposed to Titanic salvage seem completely ambivalent when it comes to artifacts being recovered from other sunken liners (Most notably the Andrea Doria, Lusitania, & Empress of Ireland.

In fact, I once had a friend who came into possession of two sets of first class china from the Andrea Doria. This "friend" agreed with Titanic salvage from the debris field, but vehemently opposed any salvage internally, regularly voicing his opinion on the subject. Tired of all this, I said one day "Well, exactly where did that first-class china from the Andrea Doria come from? (Duh, from the first class dinning room inside the ship) Surely you're not suggesting that the fifty-eight who lost their lives on the Doria are any less significant than the 1,500 who lost their lives on the Titanic?" To which he responded with...nothing.

As cynical as this may sound, I believe the Titanic should be extensively salvaged both internally and externally, especially considering how rapidly the rate of disintegration is accelerating. I would love to see a trunk from Lady Cardeza's wardrobe room, or a steamer trunk from an unknown third class passenger's stateroom.

And I suppose I do feel conflicted throwing my arms up in the air and saying "Well, if they do it with other lost liners, why not with the Titanic?" But that's exactly how I feel. The main purpose of salvaging the Titanic is to share with the world a little tangible sliver of history as poignant as it is exciting. What's so wrong about that?

Ah Matt, did you have to open this can of worms again
I personally don't believe in salvage on either the Titanic or any other ship!! So I'm afraid Matt we're going to have to disagree but I respect yours' and everybody elses' opinion
True. The subject is listed as one of those well known "powder kegs". Her meaning and what should become of her, is a very personal matter. What the salvage means to one, is seldomly going to mean for another.
Amy, I too was moved when I saw the D-Deck door. It will be a memory I will remember for the rest of my life. I shared that moment with my children, and with any luck, they will pass on the memory to their children.
As long as they contain the rescue of these items to the debris field and even maybe to the bow section I am not to offended.
Just leave the stern alone, please.
As Colleen has stated this to be one of the "powder kegs", it's touchy.
Yet, think of the future generations. There will be Titanic enthusiasts among us who have not drawn their first breath. Should they be denied the joy and emotion I know I felt, to view these items?
If they had not retreived these items now they would have at a later date. And by waiting till that time some very poignant pieces of history may have been lost forever.
There are still three who sailed on her.
These fine souls have little or no recolection of her. And if it were possible, I would like to know their opinions on this subject. For to me, theirs would be the final word.
If the time comes I am privlaged to live into my 80's or 90's, and I have passed along my collection of Titanic to my daughters, I see them showing their children all Grandpa collected on Titanic. Instilling them with the same awe and exhuberance I felt.
Then taking them, hopefully willingly, to an exhibit.
Titanic will endure and capture minds far into the future. And to have the physical part of her preserved will instill those yet to be, to carry on her name long after we are gone.
Respectfully, Don
A few years ago I went on a cruise and one of the stops was Halifax, Nova Scotia. We visited the Maritime Museum. The titanic artifacts on display had been retrieved from the ocean surface shortly after the sinking.

To make a long story short, I believe the Titanic was destined to sink and to me that includes any items included with the sunken ship.
I agree with Patrick....let's retrieve all that we can from Titanic before the ship collapses and we have no way of obtaining would be great to see what lies inside.
I am curious as to exactly why it is illegal for the selling of Titanic artifacts on the market, yet liners like the Lusitania, Empress of Ireland, and others have theirs floating all over? Also - I was watching a tv show with earthquakes and noticed a fault line runs under the area where the Titanic lies.... what happens if an earthquake tears through the area, completely destroys the wreck and everything we could have learned was lost forever? Same goes for the collapse. I think I would rather have them salvage the GSC hanging chandelier and save it before the ship collapses and it is destroyed for good.

Eddie Petruskevich
>>I am curious as to exactly why it is illegal for the selling of Titanic artifacts on the market, yet liners like the Lusitania, Empress of Ireland, and others have theirs floating all over?<<

That's because of RMS Titanic Inc.'s status as "Salvor In Possession." They're the legal custodians of the artifacts and have the sole right of salvage, but they do not legally own the wreck or the artifacts. Unless you're acting as the agent for the lawful owners, you cannot legally sell something you don't own unless you want to risk spending a nice long stretch in prison.

On the other ships you mentioned, the artifacts are already owned by somebody who may legally dispose of them as they wish.
I have to agree that future Titanic buffs "who have not drawn their first breath" should be allowed the opportunity to see these items as we all have been. So I'm pro-salvage, per se.

I would personally prefer it if they kept salvage to just the debris field and stay away from the 2 main structures. Not only first and foremost for the divers' safety, but also because I do personally feel that it's going a bit too far going inside the wreck to salvage stuff when there's still plenty to be gained from the debris field, plus it could cause further structural damage to the wreck, which is definitely not needed. Mother Nature's taking care of that very well by herself.

I still don't know where I stand on salvaging personal possessions. I'm all for bringing up things that are directly connected with the ship itself, but people's personal things? Still trying to figure out where I stand on that. I love seeing the jewelry and reading the letters, but sometimes I feel like we've crossed a line. Just my opinion/thoughts.
Matthew, for what it's worth, RMSTI's salvage activities are confined to the debris field. They are forbidden from salvageing anything from the bow or stern structures of the ship herself.
>>RMSTI's salvage activities are confined to the debris field. They are forbidden from salvaging anything from the bow or stern structures of the ship herself<<

I am pleased to read this.

I tend to lean toward the anti-salvage camp. I firmly believe that Titanic should be respected, she is above all a grave. When the wreck was discovered and explored 20 years ago my biggest concern was that Titanic may suffer the violation of having her structure ripped or blasted open so that her insides could be plundered.
Salvage from the debris field- I feel that limited salvage may be permissible as long as any items are put on exhibition and not sold. What should or should not be brought up- items connected directly with the ship, such as bottles or crockery yes, personal possessions no. Another concern I have is that a check should be kept on any salvage from the debris field, it will truly be a sad day if it is ever cleaned out by sheer greed. The debris field has the same poignant, magical quality as the wreck itself. I have just finished reading R Ballard's book Return to Titanic and was saddened to learn that the porcelain doll's head that so spooked Ballard on his first expedition to the wreck had been taken, I hoped that any salvager would have had some conscience and thought twice about taking this most poignant of items. Does anyone know where it ended up or maybe even seen it in an exhibition?