About Alison

A feisty mother earth type, who has an opinion about everything I would like to think I use my "chopsy" attitude to throw some light and perhaps a new slant on current social and cultural issues.

Since I moved to the country for a quiet life I have been lucky enough to create a more healthy more relaxed environment for myself. I love country life, Family, Friends, Horses and Dogs. I also love, photography, writing/chatting and connecting with others.

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Thursday, 29 March 2012

A ghoulish sale of Titanic proportions?

An estimated value of 200 million dollars has been placed on relics recovered from the wreck of the Titanic. They are to be put up for auction soon and sold as a single lot. Initial reaction from some descendants of those who lost their lives was strongly against the retrieval and sale of some very personal items, such as a bracelet with the name Amy on it. A piece that could easily be identified and attributed to an “owner” one would think.

My initial reaction was that it was akin to grave robbery I felt uncomfortable with the scavenging through a scene of such tragedy. I thought about an occasion when it is necessary to disturb such emotive debris. Past the time when the search for survivors and retrieval of the dead has gone why would you route through the remains with any justification. 

Obviously a crime scene or an accident where questions need to be answered, evidence amassed to prosecute offenders and learn lessons for future safety. The other situation is that no matter how sensitive or distressing the aftermath at some point it has to be made anew, so life can go on at that place. The Twin Towers springs to mind, such was the horror and loss it could never be a place other than a memorial to the victims and their families, but every peace of debris had to be picked over and eventually cleaned away.

There is an argument put forward that recovering such items and examining the wreck allows us to tell a story and great care has been taken to protect the process in conditions set out by courts and solicitors to authenticate what some see as unnecessary intrusion and uncivilised behaviour. There have been many occasions where in the name of education a “civilised” society has rummaged through another cultures’ sacred artefacts and taken them away for “safe keeping.” Seems to me they were pretty safe where they were, and the process has been subsequently vilified on several occasions and the precious belongings returned to their rightful “owner”. Such as the case of the Aboriginal remains, returned to Australia from a Glaswegian museum last year.

If I were to come across the scene of an accident where everyone was clearly dead and I was able to  examine this closely because I had the means to access the, car , shall we say, deep in a dyke upside down in water, because I had the equipment, a ladder and a crow bar and a snorkel. What if, once after expending energy and using my equipment  I saw property which had been flung from the open boot in the ditch and collected it and decided to keep it or sell it and keep the money for myself. Because otherwise they would be ruined or lost and I found them Would that be any kind of defence when I was standing in the dock? Of course not! Also surely even though I called the emergency services what kind of monster would I be to scavenge amongst the poor dead casualties. Isn’t it easy to see what is right and wrong?

I for one can’t see the difference there is no other reason to disturb the Titanic it is at rest, we should leave it and the memories at peace.

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Hi I am really interested in your comments so let me know what you think and I will get back to you if you want me to. Thanks for reading
Alison xx