The Titanic Artefacts Collection includes approximately 5,500 individual pieces that have been recovered from the wreck site of RMS Titanic. These items were recovered over the course of seven deep sea expeditions between 1987 and 2004. Now, there’s an historic opportunity to bring them home.
This campaign is a collaboration between Titanic Belfast, Titanic Foundation Limited, the National Maritime Museum (part of Royal Museums Greenwich, England), and the National Museums Northern Ireland.
Together, the organisations are working to protect and preserve the entirety of the collection to ensure these items are not split up and sold to private collectors around the world.
The campaign is backed by big names including National Geographic; acclaimed filmmaker, deep sea explorer and Avatar Alliance Foundation, James Cameron; and oceanographer and discoverer of RMS Titanic wreck, Robert Ballard.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Titanic Artefacts Collection?
This is a collection of artefacts recovered from RMS Titanic’s wreck site over the course of seven deep sea expeditions between 1987 and 2004. There are approximately 5,500 individual items in the collection. These include iconic artefacts such as a section of the ship’s hull and a bronze cherub decoration from the ship’s grand staircase.
Why is the campaign taking place?
Due to the bankruptcy of the current owner, Premier Exhibitions based in the USA, there is now a unique opportunity for this entire collection to be brought back to the UK and Ireland, as a whole. It is very important that the unique collection of objects raised from the wreck site debris field is kept together and held in public ownership for the benefit of people today and for future generations.
Who is behind this bid?
The National Maritime Museum (part of Royal Museums Greenwich), National Museums Northern Ireland, Titanic Belfast and Titanic Foundation Limited are bidding to bring the Titanic Artefacts Collection home to the UK and Ireland, in order to protect and preserve the legacy of RMS Titanic.
How will you raise the money and where are you with the fundraising?
We are currently in conversation with private funders, and we hope in time to launch a public arm of the campaign, encouraging the general public across the world to pledge their support to the journey of returning Titanic artefacts to an appropriate final resting place.
Who is supporting this bid?
The bid is the first-of-its-kind to be supported by the National Geographic Society, who have built a legacy of groundbreaking research, exploration, education and storytelling dedicated to the Titanic disaster.
National Geographic is pledging $500,000 towards the campaign to acquire the Titanic Artefacts Collection. As the first private donor to contribute to this effort, National Geographic is excited to be part of this latest chapter of Titanic’s history and to support the initiative to bring these artefacts home.
What happens if the endeavour fails?
If the bid is rejected by the US courts on 25th July 2018 and the collection is put up for general sale, the most likely scenario is that it will be broken up and thus lost as an identifiable collection. This almost certainly could never be rectified.
Where will the artefacts be displayed?
Titanic Belfast will be the principal venue for the public display of artefacts. The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, which will be joint custodian of the collection alongside National Museums Northern Ireland, will also host a selection of the artefacts on display.
Artefacts not on display will be cared for and stored at the National Maritime Museum’s Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre which provides state-of-the-art conservation and storage facilities for artefacts.