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( Ralph White)

A Clearwater, Florida, salvage firm has announced plans to penetrate the hull of RMS Titanic to recover artifacts, namely an estimated $300 million in diamonds thought to have been left in a leather purser's pouch in the ship's front cargo hold.

   The more than 5,000 artifacts recovered to date from the ship, which sank in 12,500 feet of water after colliding with an iceberg off Newfoundland shortly before midnight on April 14, 1912, have come from the vast debris field off the vessel's stern. The new salvage initiative by RMS Titanic, Inc., flies in the face of the RMS Titanic Maritime Memorial Act of 1986, which specifies that the wreck remain undisturbed except for scientific research.--ANGELA M.H. SCHUSTER

2000 by the Archaeological Institute of America


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