Titanic Exhibit Salvaged Artifacts, Human Remains Photos--Why Can't Victims Rest in Peace?

This is an article I wrote around the time of Titanic's 100th anniversary, April 12, 2012. At the time, I couldn't conceive that anyone would seriously want to salvage Titanic remains. Since then, "Titanic: the Artifacts Exhibit" venues cropped up in various museums. One is touring at our local Grand Rapids Public Museum (aka VanAndel Museum, as city baron Jay VanAndel bought up the old museum and now runs the "public" one for uber personal profit!)

In total, some 5,500 artifacts have been dredged up from the ocean floor and debris field around Titanic. My daughter and I went to see the exhibit. It was chilling to view letters, wallets, kitchen utensils, state room decor, fixtures and personal effects from deceased passengers. When you're done gawping, the tour feeds you through a gift shop with "commemorative" replicas of unearthed remains--a jam pot like one found and shown, White Star Line dishes, steerage bed linens, reprints of effects. It's like a circus freak show. I'm surprised they didn't clone little passenger dolls.

And worse than the ghoulish profiteering on Titanic legacy, I have to wonder whose human remains were jostled to bring them up. Sure nothing is visible but DNA doesn't cease to exist. They're there, under silt. And if we needed proof, this article provided it. Updated photos taken in 2004 of the Titanic shipwreck have been released to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking. Originally only part of the picture was shown. Shown complete, it's clear that what looks like miscellaneous clothing is actually what was left after bodies decomposed. It's sparked debate about whether the Titanic wreckage and debris field should be scavenged or left as a memorial. I can't see that any discussion is necessary. The disaster site is a cemetery and should be honored as such.  Titanic Human Remains Photos Mean We Should Let Them Rest in Peace.

Search This Blog

About Me

My photo

Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

Followers