Posted on Mar 22, 2012 in Find things, Other stuff
I’ve been fascinated with the Titanic ever since I was little. With all the hoopla surrounding the 100th anniversary of the sinking, I was wondering if there was any place I could go to see some of the things they have retrieved from the wreck?
From the day she was launched, the Titanic has fascinated millions of people worldwide. One could, in fact, say that her overall appeal to the interest of the general public only increased after her sinking — the world’s largest (at the time) ocean liner, declared practically unsinkable actually goes and sinks on her maiden voyage, taking with her to the depths some of the world’s richest and most powerful people. It’s certainly the sort of thing that starts to foster a bit of fascination.
Long thought lost to the depths of the ocean and history, she was rediscovered in 1985 by the renowned oceanographer Robert Ballard. Since then, numerous expeditions have been launched to photograph, explore, and — controversially — recover various artifacts from the ship strew across the ocean floor.
While some consider this a form of grave robbing, as the wreck is the final resting place for the vast majority of the 1,517 people who lost their lives when she sank, others consider it a way to preserve her history and honor her dead, much in the same way that the tombs of ancient Egypt gave up their secrets.
So, now that we’ve dispensed with the history lesson, let’s take a look at where one can find some of these lost treasures from the deep.
Of course, the Number 1 place to find thousands of artifacts in one place is on the ocean floor, under water about two miles deep. You actually can go there, for about $60,000 per visit.
Assuming that’s a little out of your price range, here are some other options:
The Luxor — Las Vegas, Nevada
Where else would you find the largest permanent display of Titanic artifacts? With over 25,000 square feet of display space, the Luxor’s collection includes items such as preserved baggage, the ship’s whistles, floor tiles, an unopened bottle of champagne, and a 15×25 foot section of the hull of the ship, colloquially known as the “Big Piece.”
RMS Titanic, Inc. traveling exhibitions — Various locations worldwide
The main group spearheading the retrieval of items from the Titanic, RMS Titanic, Inc. hosts a traveling exhibition that includes artifacts from the ship, such as plates, cups, silver, and the like; various passengers’ personal effects; as well as reproductions and recreations of various parts of the ship — along with stories of both survivors and victims. Shows typically run for six to nine months, so check back if there isn’t one near you.
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic — Halifax, Nova Scotia
This museum houses not only a collection of items from the ship — most plucked from the ocean during the search for survivors in 1912 — but they also have a collection of archival records, including documents and photographs dating from the time of the disaster.
Well, this one’s a little out of my league, but in honor of the 100th anniversary of the disaster, a collection of over 5,000 items from the wreck will be going up for auction in April, 2012.
However, there are two caveats: One, the auction is for the whole lot — gold coins, clothes, and a 17 ton piece of the hull all goes in one fell swoop. Two, the items are valued at $189 million. Might need to scrape out the loose change from the bottom of the sofa for that one.
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