The company that has exclusive rights to salvage the Titanic is planning a possible expedition to the world's most famous shipwreck in 2010.
The first expedition to the North Atlantic wreck site since 2004 is revealed in a filing by RMS Titanic Inc in a US District Court, where four days of hearings began yesterday on the company's claim for a salvage award.
Lawyers for RMS Titanic Inc confirmed the expedition plans but declined to discuss them in detail in the Norfolk, Virginia court.
“That is something that is being looked at right now but it's not in any way a done deal,” attorney Robert W McFarland said.
Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, a maritime jurist who considers the wreck an “international treasure,” will preside over the hearings.
They are intended to determine a salvage award and establish legal guarantees that thousands of Titanic artifacts remain intact as a collection and forever accessible to the public.
Some pieces have ended up in London auction houses.
The Belfast-built Titanic sank on its maiden voyage in international waters on April 15, 1912, and has been subject to competing legal claims since it was found in 1985.