Should they recover artifacts

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>>first of all i think that its morally wrong for anyone to disturb the titanic, given that it is the grave of so many people,<<

Why? I'm not trying to put you on the spot here, but in your paper, if this is the position you're going to take, you're going to be expected to make some very compelling arguements to defend it.

>>but on the other hand, if someone can learn about the titanic, and the people who died on it from these artifacts, etc, would it not be a good thing to raise the ship/artifacts ? <<

And I agree with that. For all that the Titanic is one of the most overdocumented shipwrecks of all time, there's a lot that wasn't known about the ship until somebody went down to have a look at it. There are some very smart dedicated people who are hard at work trying to remedy that. Parks Stephenson has been a part of it as has James Cameron, but I would also mention Bruce Beveridge and Steve Hall. The book they're writing on it...all drawn from surviving primary source going to put the Shipbuilder specials to shame. For all of that, some of their work would not have been possible had it not been for people going down in submersibles to have a good look at what's there.

While raising the ship is not even remotely possible, it is possible to recover artifacts of historical importance and I think this needs to be done.

>>can anyone help with their opinions?<<

I don't know about that. All any of us can do is offer arguements pro and con...and there's a lot of them out there...however, matters of opinion are highly subjective and there isn't always a black and white right or wrong answer to any of them. In the end, you'll have to weigh all the arguements and form your own opinion.

I wish you the best in that.

sharon rutman

Former Member
Exactly why are we still debating this issue? The artifacts have been recovered--what's done is done. Helen, you're beating a dead horse. I saw nothing wrong with the salvage anyhow as long as the artifacts are properly cared for and displayed in a dignified manner. Holier than thou types are a real turnoff.

I have a better idea. Why not go to NYC and visit Ground Zero. Almost 3,000 people were killed there on 9/11/2001--nearly twice the number which perished on the Titanic. Yet, Ground Zero is the biggest tourist attraction in New York City--you should see the crowds who throng there to have a look. Do you think that's disrespectful? And a few blocks away in every direction are the schlockmeisters selling all sorts of World Trade Center souveniers. Do you think that's a bit tacky?
>>Exactly why are we still debating this issue? <<

I think perhaps because the issue is still out there, because there is always the possiblity of further salvage attempts and as a consequence, people tend to have some ethical concerns over that. That a lot of the work is already a done deal doesn't take away from that.
Thanks to all for your responses.
Can I just say to Sharon that I'm sorry for "still debating the issue". I'm 21 and have only recently taken a very keen interest into the Titanic and its' sinking. I don't know a lot about the issues that have been and are being debated about the salvage of artifacts. I wasn't disputing the fact that "whats done is done", I was disputing that was it right in an ethical sense to do it? But please excuse my ignorance.
I do agree with Michael when he says that "the issue is still out there" however. To be honest, I hadn't got a clue about how many, if any, artifacts had been recovered and how until recently, and one of the first things that came into my head was the question of ethics and morality in raising these things. In my own opinion, albeit inexperienced, this issue will never go away. The more people that want to learn about the Titanic, like myself, will ask this question over and over again.
Thanks to all opinions though, much appreciated, hel
>>Can I just say to Sharon that I'm sorry for "still debating the issue". <<

I don't see any reason why you should be. While it does help to get informed on something before forming an opinion, but it looked to me like you were trying to do just that.

That brings me to my main point: Never aplogogize for asking the tough questions or demanding some straightforward and honest answers. At the very least, you'll understand where everybody is coming from and why, and you just might learn something if you listen closely enough. It looks to me like this is your goal and there's nothing whatever wrong with that. That's how you learn things.

>>In my own opinion, albeit inexperienced, this issue will never go away.<<

Well, not anytime soon anyway. Sometime in the future when your bouncing your grandchildren on your bended knee, it'll all be settled or at the very least, few people will really care. I suspect the real issue then...and it's an on going concern now...will be the proper conservation, care and study of the artifacts that have already been recovered.

sharon rutman

Former Member
Man, every museum throughout the world would be put out of business if they agonized over "graverobbing" charges. Thousands lined up years ago to see the King Tut exhibit. Shouldn't poor Tut have allowed to rest in peace instead of being viewed by lots of gawking strangers? Or is there something to be learned about the way the Ancient Egyptians lived by exhibiting Tut and other artifacts? And don't listen to holier than thou Bob Ballard. if I hear that stale story about "belt buckles on the Arizona" one more time, I'll scream! Ballard is the ultimate hypocrite on salvage--he pontificates about how sacred Titanic's artifacts, yet he's also a marine archaeologist. He's gone on many expeditions to find relics and artifacts and bring them back to the surface.
I can completely see your point about how "every museum throughout the world would be put out of business if they agonized over "graverobbing" charges.".
However, I read on another discussion page that a boot from a passenger who died on the Titanic had been brought up.
I think I now realise that some artifacts that have been recovered can teach us something, but what can we learn from a boot that was worn by someone when they died on Titanic?
I think my question should have been along the lines of where should we have drawn the line about salvaging artifacts?
>>And don't listen to holier than thou Bob Ballard.<<

Why not? Whether or not he's "Holier then thou" has nothing to do with whether or not he's right or wrong on a given matter. Whether or not he deserves it, he does have some infulance in this controversy. When somebody's word carries some weight, it's risky to ignore it.

>>He's gone on many expeditions to find relics and artifacts and bring them back to the surface.<<

Yes he has, and that's a fair point in my opinion.

sharon rutman

Former Member
So how come Titanic's artifacts, boots and all, are sacred? No one has explained that to me yet. Why are Titanic's artifacts different than those found in other shipwrecks? Bob Ballard is the marine explorer who found Titanic's wreck way back in 1985 over the Labor Day weekend.
Thats a good point, but if anyone had told me that a boot that was worn by someone who died whilst on another boat was salvaged, I would still see it as pointless and wrong to recover something that no-one can learn from.
Thanks for telling me who Bob Ballard is - I feel right and stupid now!!!
Thanks for those websites, I'll check them out now.
I have just one more question, and then I'll stop!
I know Margeret Brown was known as 'Molly' , and 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown', but when did that come about. I read somewhere that it was a Hollywood invention. Why was she referred to as 'unsinkable'?
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