France sued over control of Titanic artifacts


The bankrupt US company that controls thousands of artifacts salvaged from the ill-starred Titanic has sued the French government to be allowed to sell some of them.

Premier Exhibitions filed the suit in a Florida federal bankruptcy court to press the French government to clarify it has no interest in the artifacts that would prevent their sale.

The suit, made last Wednesday in Jacksonville, came after the judge in the case last month denied Premier permission to sell some of the recovered goods, which include jewelry and clothing, to repay creditors.

Premier ran into financial trouble after years of putting on commercial exhibitions displaying items recovered from the Titanic, which sank after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage in 1912, sending around 1,500 people to their deaths in the frigid northern Atlantic.

The judge ruled that the French government could still retain some rights over the first batch of some 2,100 artifacts recovered from the Titanic in 1987 by a Premier subsidiary together with the French maritime institute IFREMER.

An agreement between the Premier subsidiary, RMS Titanic Inc. and France at the time of the first salvage mission required the recovered goods — called the “French Artifacts” — to be kept together as a collection.

But Premier argues in the suit that France awarded it “unconditional” title to the artifacts in 1993, giving it the right to sell some.

The suit will require France to clarify to the court if it does or does not claim some control over them.

“A declaration of rights is both necessary and appropriate to establish that France does not have any interest in the French artifacts,” the suit said.

Premier is also in control of a second, larger batch of items from the Titanic, known as the “American Artifacts,” recovered after 1993.

Bound by the salvage rights given to RMS Titanic Inc to keep those together as a collection for the public benefit, it is not permitted to break up the collection for sale.

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  1. Avatar Zacs September 13th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    RIP bwana PS. I admired the way you worked especially when you were PS in the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The enthusiasm you had with your work, your availability whenever needed to grace important occasions and your Humour. We will miss all those.

  2. Avatar Harrison September 13th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    This is sad.I had met David in person in the year 2007 we had afew minutes discussions.He was such a great man.This country has lost a great man, a hero and an Icon.May the good Lord rest David’s soul in eternal peace.

  3. Avatar Pharah. September 13th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    May u rest in peace. I knew u personally and we shared alot. I learnt a lot from u. We have lost a great man. Pharah.

  4. Avatar mike September 13th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I shared alot with you about the east African community…i will miss you.

  5. Avatar Evelyne Ogutu September 13th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    RIP Bwana PS. You were humble, sharp, witty, focussed, brilliant, the list is endless. I will miss you. Working with you was a great milestone for me. I owe you

  6. Avatar auma odera September 13th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    rest in peace wuod sakwa bondo!

  7. Avatar John Mose September 13th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    You went for what you felt is right all the time and it was. I will miss a servant you were. May God rest your soul in Eternal Peace.

  8. Avatar EMILY September 13th, 2012 at 1:39 pm


  9. Avatar Evans chir September 13th, 2012 at 2:17 pm


  10. Avatar Rosina September 13th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    R.I.P PS may God grant his family the comfort they desire at this trying moments.

  11. Avatar akinyi September 13th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Yue maber wuo kano,

  12. Avatar Katra September 13th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Dear PS, I am gravely saddened by this news. You remain a peerless Civil Servant whose vision for Kenya was ahead of our time. We all prayed and trusted God for your full recovery and you also fought so hard, may you rest in peace. My condolences to your family and friends.

  13. Avatar Marie Simons September 14th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    in peace you shall rest….

  14. Avatar Erastus Omolo September 14th, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    From Erastus K. Omolo, Erastus & Co. CPAs, To the family of Dave, we
    mourn with you dear ones. We are all looking forward to a new heaven
    and a new earth promised us by God in Revelation Chapter 21 from verse
    1. In that new land, there will be no more tears and death itself will
    be killed and so it shall be no more the robber and enemy that it is
    today. It is also only in that land where we shall never grow old and
    there will be no more cancer, no TB, no Tumors, no HIV/AIDs, no malaria –
    indeed there will be no other decease. It is hard and sad, but please
    be comforted with these words.

    Nyar Karateng’ kod Nyithi wuod Tura, Nyasaye mondo ohou kendo oritu kata
    ukedo gi masiche. Warito kendo wageno neno piny kod polo manyienno.
    Nyasachwa mondo oywe pi wang’u. God be with you David till we meet at
    the feet of Jesus, you have left us when Kisumu County was going to need
    you the most !!

  15. Avatar A. Nyaga September 18th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Such a great man yet so humble. Rest in peace Mr. Nalo.

  16. Avatar Ema Onyango September 19th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    R.I.P, PS. We loved you but God loves you most.


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