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  • RMS Titanic: is it ethically right to remove artifacts

    RMS Titanic: is it ethically right to remove artifacts

    ... in order to save them for the future, and have them permanently on display at a dedicated Titanic museum ashore?

    What do you think, yes or now?

    I would also love to hear why, why not... or any other thoughts on this.

    ****

    PS: The original Titanic-thread for other discussions here on CVF is located here:

    RMS Titanic of the White Star Line
    17
    Yes.
    58.82%
    10
    No.
    35.29%
    6
    Don't know.
    5.88%
    1
    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
    Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
    Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
    Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


  • #2
    I voted "yes" as to whether or not I felt it was ethically right to remove objects from the Titanic. I feel these objects should be shared for all to see instead of slowly disappearing on the ocean floor. I also feel that the company that had the vision to retrieve and display these artifacts should be commended for their hard work and ingenuity. However, I also feel that any personal objects should be returned to or held in trust (if requested) for any surviving families of those who lost their lives on the Titanic.

    Comment


    • #3
      Very well said.

      I too feel that as much as possible should be retrieved from the wreck and placed on display somewhere, so that we will be able to see items from her, also well into the future.

      Now, she is only available to those extremely few who can afford a trip down with a tiny submarine, and, as time goes, she is indeed disappearing.

      Items I would like to see on display are her anchors, a part of the railing, porthole, hull plating, a davit... anything that is somewhat recognizable and which has a human touch to it.

      Naturally, such an exhibition on land requires a tasteful and very respectful display as well, but, I feel now, that we are about to loose the treasure Titanic once was.
      With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

      Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
      Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
      Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
      Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

      Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have mixed views on this. I voted no because the wreck is a grave site and is also protected. I think it is Ok to bring up artifacts from the debris field for non profit making, but not from the wreck. In time when Titanic is indanger then my views may change, in respect to bringing up stuff like her anchors, cranes and props, but at the moment I say no. I just feel that it would be like grave robbing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for your honest opinions Bill.

          But, don't you think with the deterioration of the wreck, it would be a terribly sad event to see it all gone?

          I read somewhere that the ship is about to completely collapse upon itself within the next decade, into a rusty pile of old steel.

          I do understand your view that the ship is after all a grave site, but another part of me tells me that it's selfish of us to not share the ship, it's story, and tragedy with future generations.
          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
          Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
          Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
          Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

          Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by White Star View Post
            I have mixed views on this. I voted no because the wreck is a grave site and is also protected. I think it is Ok to bring up artifacts from the debris field for non profit making, but not from the wreck. In time when Titanic is indanger then my views may change, in respect to bringing up stuff like her anchors, cranes and props, but at the moment I say no. I just feel that it would be like grave robbing.
            On the whole I agree with Bill. A few years ago I went to the exhibition in London of artefacts from the Titanic, the visit there was part of a longer tour, the details of which I cannot remember at the moment. But my overwhelming memory is of my dismay and hurt at seeing the personal possessions of passengers, whose only grave is the wreck, displayed in the cases for all to see. I imagined if a relative of mine had been on that ship when she went down and their comb, purse, etc. was there to be ogled.
            I feel the same about the film. I watched the TV showing of the salvaging of Henry VIII's Mary Rose, and was thrilled as the remains slowly surfaced above the water. I have also seen the ship since. But this is centuries ago, an interesting part of our history, and although lives were lost we feel no great pang because of the distance in time. But to make a film about the Titanic as if it were just one of the popular disaster epics is in poor taste.
            We can share the story as fact, so that future generations will remember, but if its remains are salvaged, what do you do about the human ones?
            Let the ship and its bodies rest.
            Ivy

            "To thine own self be true.......
            Thou canst not then be false to any man."

            Comment


            • #7
              Ivy, you make a good point about Titanic films. I know that I didn't like the film that James Cameron made of the Titanic, it just didn't do anything for me except remind me Hollywood shouldn't do factual movies.
              Saying that, I did go to the cinema to see the film Titanic and ended up stunned. Not because of the film but because of the people sat behind me. To hear "couldn't they send a helicopter" left me feeling a bit nauseous, but to hear "it's a good job it isn't real" left me speechless and full of contempt for the obvious lack of education these people had.

              But then again, why did James Cameron think he needed to put in a dramatic love story, when the Titanic had every bit of factual drama a film could ever want!

              However, a film that did hit a note with me and fulfilled it's role very well was that of the 1958 film A Night to Remember.
              Okay, rant over with.

              I do believe that White Star is correct and Titanic should be left in peace, for me it is a grave that should be afforded the same respect as any other grave.

              My great grandfather lost quite a few friends on the Titanic, they were mostly all from the area he lived in. He always wished that the ship if found, to be be left in peace.
              He passed away 3 years after the Titanic was found.
              Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is a hard one to call. But i tend to look at it in another way. To explain i shall go back to the years when i was a child, before the wreck was found. For me the story of the disaster was really just that - it was something that happened a long time ago. For me, the true scale of the disaster, the suffering and lose of lives involved, was something hard to comprehend. All of that changed for me when the wreck was discovered and the first photos appeared on the news. All of a sudden the Titanic was real - not just another part of our history. I immediately wanted to learn more, more about the ship, more about the poor souls that were on her, and more about how the tragedy occurred.

                Documentary's soon started to show on the TV. They showed some of the first ever video footage of the wreck. The images were almost unreal, it was difficult to take it all in, i was looking at real video footage of something that happened so long ago, a tale from the past. But this video brought the past into the present. For me it now all seemed so real. That may sound stupid, after all, it's always been real, but the video, seeing the ghostly outlines of this famous Liner, really gave me empathy for the whole tragic event.

                I should imagine that the discovery of the wreck, along with all of the subsequent dives that have followed, really must have brought the memory of the disaster back into peoples minds. Like me, there must now be many hundreds of thousands of people around the world, that are now much more aware of the true scale of the tragedy. And because of this, the souls that lost their lives in the disaster will never be forgotten.

                But is the raising of artifacts a step too far? I have never seen any of the artifacts that have been raised myself, not in real life anyway. But, if like Ivy i was to see some of the passengers personal artifacts, i think i would also feel dismay and hurt, but i am not sure if it would be for the same reason. Seeing say a woman's comb, or a small child's shoe shoe, i would be filled with deep dismay and hurt, my mind would be imaging the horrors of that night, i would be struggling to contemplate the terror and panic that the owner of the artifact must have gone through. To see an exhibition of artifacts would touch me very deeply. My thoughts for a long time after that would be with the people that died on that tragic night.

                So, with all that in mind, it could be said that the raising of artifacts and the subsequent exhibitions can only insure that the memory of the disaster and it's victims will continue for countless generations to come. But is the recovery and showing of such personal items really necessary? Is it ethical? This is where i struggle. Why not just show things like the anchors and other deck equipment etc?, but would such things really stir the emotions like the more personal items would? Would seeing such things really hit home so hard? Would they touch you so deeply? Show someone the ships anchor and they might think 'WOW', 'it's from the Titanic', but show them some of the more personal stuff and people will really start to grasp the real happenings of that night. The Titanic was not just a ship from childhood memories, and not just a ship that Hollywood made films about, the Titanic was a terrible tragedy.

                But do we really need to 'rob' the interior of the ship? I believe that there are probably more than enough artifacts laying on the sea bed around the ship. I feel the wreck itself is not only a grave to the hundreds of souls that died, but also a memorial. I do not think it is right that it be robbed. I feel very lucky and privileged to have seen inside the ship in some of the documentary's, but i think it should be left as it is. I even feel emotions for the ship herself, should we even be taking parts from her?, her anchors for instance, they have hung faithfully in place for all of these years, they have been with the ship since she was built. Is it right we remove them now, or should they be left in place, hanging where they belong? I feel they should be left.

                So in short, yes, i think some artifacts should be shown, so that the world never forgets the great tragedy that happened, but no, the ship should not be robbed, she should be left in peace.
                Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I do wish to clarify my opinion as to why I feel it is ethical to remove artifacts from the Titanic wreck.

                  I feel that this is history that should be preserved. Not just of the ship but also the people. Not any different than mummies that have been removed from their tombs or ships bells that have been retrieved from sunken vessels ie. Edmund Fitzgerald. This is about the only way to feel a true human connection to history. It becomes reality not just a story.

                  The preservation and displaying of artifacts not only help us understand how life was at that time, but also bring a sense of reality to the events. It also helps us understand how advancements in technology come about because of past history.

                  Even though I have seen all the movies and most of the documentaries, read allot of the books and felt the Titanic was the most awesome ship ever built, the true heart felt reality was when I went to Halifax. I visited both Mount Olivet Cemetery and Fairview Lawn Cemetery to see the graves from the Titanic. The deepest feelings were from seeing the gravestone for the unknown child which finally has been identified as 1 year old Sidney Goodwin. Seeing this stone made me realize that mans naivity, greed and ambitions to be the biggest and the best led to the loss of so many people including children.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you all for the very interesting inputs.

                    I know there is no right or wrong answer to this question, but I do find it interesting to learn the different views on the subject.
                    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                    Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
                    Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
                    Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

                    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steve.B View Post
                      But is the raising of artifacts a step too far? I have never seen any of the artifacts that have been raised myself, not in real life anyway. But, if like Ivy i was to see some of the passengers personal artifacts, i think i would also feel dismay and hurt, but i am not sure if it would be for the same reason. Seeing say a woman's comb, or a small child's shoe shoe, i would be filled with deep dismay and hurt, my mind would be imaging the horrors of that night, i would be struggling to contemplate the terror and panic that the owner of the artifact must have gone through. To see an exhibition of artifacts would touch me very deeply. My thoughts for a long time after that would be with the people that died on that tragic night.
                      I went through just exactly those emotions, Steve.

                      But do we really need to 'rob' the interior of the ship? I believe that there are probably more than enough artifacts laying on the sea bed around the ship. I feel the wreck itself is not only a grave to the hundreds of souls that died, but also a memorial. I do not think it is right that it be robbed.
                      So in short, yes, i think some artifacts should be shown, so that the world never forgets the great tragedy that happened, but no, the ship should not be robbed, she should be left in peace.
                      At the exhibition there was a selection of the Titanic's silver and china and this I found interesting notwithstanding my overall feelings that day, it was presumably just a sample with the remainder being left where it was found. Or am I being too naively optimistic? I agree with Steve that if there are artifacts from the ship itself like the china or perhaps, furniture, (ie. not personal possessions) around on the sea-bed then a few could be brought up and go into an exhibition. But as he says, let what is in the ship remain there.
                      In 500 years time this particular tragedy will have taken its place amongst all the others that mankind manages to bring about. Maybe then one can think differently. Right now it is still very much part of us, as Paul says about his great grandfather losing many friends on the ship. That is very real to Paul.

                      Originally posted by Remarc View Post
                      I do wish to clarify my opinion as to why I feel it is ethical to remove artifacts from the Titanic wreck.

                      I feel that this is history that should be preserved. Not just of the ship but also the people. Not any different than mummies that have been removed from their tombs or ships bells that have been retrieved from sunken vessels ie. Edmund Fitzgerald. This is about the only way to feel a true human connection to history. It becomes reality not just a story.

                      The preservation and displaying of artifacts not only help us understand how life was at that time, but also bring a sense of reality to the events. It also helps us understand how advancements in technology come about because of past history.
                      I understand what you are saying, Remarc. But don't forget, we live in an age of excellent under-water filming, and by all means film all that is possible both inside and outside the wreck so that viewers may fully understand the extent of what happened. From that filming and reports of studies made by experts we may also learn about technological advances that resulted from studying the wreck. But does not the showcasing of the actual comb and purse pander towards some people's "ooh, ah, cor, look at that" attitude? An attitude that leads to no deeper thought. A few pieces of china, cutlery and a chair, perhaps, as I said above, but that's enough.

                      I Googled Titanic exhibition. Samples:
                      "Purchase authentic Expedition Gear and Titanic merchandise at our own store."
                      "Titanic - The Experience. Feel the Chill of the Atlantic."
                      "And what better way to compliment (sic) a day at .... then (sic) to turn a trip to the museum into an overnight Titanic adventure."
                      This is all it means to so many. But that is their loss. Just don't let us compound it.
                      Ivy

                      "To thine own self be true.......
                      Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you are only talking about things like her props and anchors ect, then they will be there long after Titanic is just a pile of dust on the sea floor. The thing about the deteration of Titanic is that we simply don`t know how long she has left, from what I have read and been told within the Titanic community is that 50 years would be a realistic estimate, but thats all it is, an estimate.

                        As far as Camerons movie goes, I think it`s Ok as in it brought Titanic to life with the effects etc, and it also got lots of people interested in the wonderfull world that is RMS Titanic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I must say, looking beyond the Hollywood drama of the latest Titanic-movie, it was a thrilling experience. I've seen it more times than would be safe, and I love seeing all the details come alive and sit back imagine how it must have been back then.

                          It's almost like the second best thing to having experienced it myself. The mood, the power, the grace of the ship... it's really believeable in the movie.
                          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                          Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
                          Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
                          Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

                          Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I voted yes, because there is so little left of her right now. And if it's not brought up; we'll lose what is there at the moment. Yes, take photos of her while she is still viewable; even though it is a gravesite, I do not think it's wrong to go there and do what is necessary to preserve what is there.
                            sigpicI will never forget the lovely grand SS NORWAY.
                            Past Cruises on her: August 22, 1992. June 4, 1994, April 7, 2002.
                            Nearly had our fourth cruise, it was set for November 7, 2003...
                            the boiler room disaster of May 4, 2003 took her out of service.
                            We ended up on the NORWEGIAN WIND, not the same as the SS NORWAY

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                            • #15
                              Yes!

                              Yes,cause it gives the next generation of people the chance to see parts of the Titanic,personal items that once belong to people that suffered that night,get to feel these people in soul. We all know Titanic will be gone for good in 100 years time.

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