James Cameron Part of Bid To Bring Titanic Artifacts to U.K.

Museums seek objects discovered at the famed wreck site.

(Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
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The story is infamous: On April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic crashed into an iceberg and sank into the frigid waters of the North Atlantic, killing more than 1,500 people. After the wreckage was discovered in 1985, the private company RMS Titanic Inc. gained exclusive rights to salvage the wreck, and eventually recorded about 5,500 artifacts.

Many of those objects have since traveled the world as centerpieces of museum shows and privately-run exhibits, writes National Geographic. 

But in 2016, RMS Titanic Inc. announced that it was bankrupt. This left their Titanic collection’s fate uncertain. Now, as a major bankruptcy court hearing approaches, a coalition of British and Irish institutions has kicked off a fundraising campaign to bring the entire collection home, back to the islands that built the ill-fated ship. The campaign is hoping to raise $19.2 million in support of a bid to acquire the artifacts.

This comes about a year after the National Geographic Society had a meeting attended by bidders as well as the Titanic wreck site’s discoverer Robert Ballardand Titanic film director James Cameron. The meeting was focused on keeping the salvaged artifacts in the public trust.

“From the moment when we first raised this idea [at the 2017 meeting], it was a dream. But with the bid going in, and actual funds on the table — I wouldn’t give it odds, but I think they’re very good,” says Cameron, a National Geographic explorer-at-large who has visited the Titanic wreck site 33 times. “I can’t imagine the court not looking on it favorably—there’s just too much right about it.”

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