The 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic’s sinking comes with more than remembrance — it also comes with added international protection for the wreck.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization adopted The Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in 2001.
The agreement applies to all traces of human existence having a cultural, historical or archaeological character which have been under water for at least 100 years. Thus, April 15 marks the moment when the Titanic wreckage will be protected under the convention.
The convention focuses on preservation and state cooperation, but does not regulate the ownership of wrecks nor does it redefine maritime zones.
For the Titanic wreck the newly accorded protection will mean that all parties to the convention will prohibit the pillaging, sale and dispersion of the wreck and its artifacts. They shall take all measures in their power to protect the site, and to ensure that proper respect is given to the human remains still to be found on it. Since the Titanic wreck is located in international waters, no country has exclusive jurisdiction over the wreckage area.
The 2001 convention provides for a system, applicable in international waters, by which countries inform each other of any potential activity concerning ancient shipwreck sites, like the Titanic, and cooperate to prevent unscientific or unethical interventions.
And what would a monumental event like the Titanic anniversary be without a little conspiracy theory.
A report from The Huffington Post asks: Did a German U-Boat sink the Titanic?
The report goes on to state that:
“Several survivors including both passengers and crewmembers, when questioned by a U.S. Senate inquiry panel, testified that they never felt any impact or heard any sound when the collision occurred, suggesting it was minor in nature. However, they reported having heard four ‘reports,’ or explosions, deep in the bowels of the Titanic after it had scraped the iceberg. These could conceivably have been torpedoes launched by a German submarine.”