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Titanic Artifacts To Be Sold At Auction

Last updated on Monday, January 16, 2012

(UNDATED) - A century after the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank to the floor of the Atlantic, more than 5 thousand artifacts plucked from the wreckage will be sold at auction, but bidders beware: The collection has appraised at $189 million and must be sold in one chunk.

That means if you want a diamond bracelet or the 17 ton slab of hull from the doomed passenger ship you're out of luck.

The auction will be held April 17 in New York, to coincide with the Titanic's maiden voyage from Southhampton, England to New York City. 1,517 of the 2,223 people died when the Titanic sank to the bottom of the sea on April 15, 1912, hours after hitting the iceberg.

The wreckage lay in some 12,000 feet of water, undisturbed, until its discover in 1985. The wreckage remains in place, but expeditions over the years have retrieved and preserved items found. Items were on display Thursday.

What makes the sale more challenging is that a court will have to approve the winning bidder, to ensure the new owners have the ability and commitment to preserving the collection and to keeping at least a portion on display at any given time.

Premier Exhibitions Inc. currently owns the exhibit, but with the 100 year anniversary approaching it was time to find a new owner.

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