Titanic to be protected under UNESCO convention

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Survey of underwater site. UNESCO/D. Frka

The wreck of the huge RMS Titanic which struck an iceberg and sank on 12 April will soon be protected under a United Nations convention.

The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage applies to remains submerged for at least 100 years.

Donn Bobb reports.

April 12 this year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic whose vestiges lie in a depth of 4,000 metres off the coast of Newfoundland.

From now on, States Parties to the 2001 UNESCO convention can outlaw the destruction, pillage, sale and dispersion of objects found at the site.

The convention allows states to cooperate to prevent exploration deemed unscientific or unethical.

They also have the authority to seize any artifacts illegally recovered from the site and to close their ports to all vessels undertaking exploration that violates the principles of the convention.

UNESCO says it's concerned about the destruction and looting of shipwrecks and underwater archaeological sites which have been facilitated by new technologies around the world.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  45″

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