Sinking the Salvagers

In the summer of 2000 a salvage company using high-tech equipment scoured the crumbling Titanic (left) for a new haul of valuables and other arctifacts - they had already recovered some 5,000 objects.Now international guidelines proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ban the sale of such artifacts and limit salvage. Like many lost ships, the Titanic, says NOAA, is more than just a wreck; it is "a maritime memorial, a grave site and an underwater museum and laboratory."

National Geographic, August 2001 issue, Geographica section