Could The Titanic Become A Tourist Attraction?
The 3D re-release of James Cameron‘s Titanic movie has also sparked renewed interest in the remains of the real life tragedy. Everything from Richard Corfield‘s article in Physics World on the additional factors that caused the ship to sink, to new images of the wreck have garnered media attention. Even the government has discovered a way to capitalize off of the ruins.
This week the New York Times reported that the government along with the International Maritime Organization are planning to operate mini-submarine tours of the Titanic wreckage spot. James P. Delgado, director of maritime heritage at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is in support of the venture.
“People have the right to see, explore and learn,” he told the Times. “But you want to put down guidelines like those at Gettysburg and the Acropolis, so visitors can experience it in the same way.”
After a thorough expedition in 2010 there now exists a comprehensive map of the wreck sites which includes a potential treasure trove of artifacts that haven’t been salvaged by entrepreneurs in past expeditions.
“The overwhelming majority of the artifacts that we see on the bottom come from a small section where the ship disintegrated. That leads to the conclusion that millions of other artifacts remain inside the bow and stern,” David Conlin, an underwater archaeologist with the National Park Service said according to the Times.”
The guidelines Delgado speaks of are necessary to preserve and protect those artifacts, as well as keep the wreckage and future tourist site pristine.
“There’s an awful lot of stuff that’s come down in recent years — beer cans and garbage bags — plus equipment left over from various expeditions,” Delgado said. “We wouldn’t think that was a good thing at Gettysburg. With Titanic, we need the same kind of standard.”