April 15 marked the 104th anniversary of the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic, as it crossed its way through the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean. And yet, even though the tragedy occurred more than a century ago, the event remains fresh in people’s minds. It wasn’t even until 1985 that the cold resting place of the Titanic, two-and-a-half miles below the ocean’s surface, was actually discovered, 13 miles away from the position telegraphed in the ship’s original S.O.S. call.
Once the mighty ship was found, it didn’t take long for researchers and other interested parties, including filmmaker James Cameron, to commission submersibles to see the Titanic’s final resting place. (Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster hit Titanic was largely inspired by his journeys to the lost ship.) On each expeditions, crews would retrieve artifacts such as suitcases, still-intact china and even shoes that had been worn by the passengers. Researchers and scientists had to race to retrieve what they could before the story of the Titanic was lost forever.
Many of those recovered artifacts recovered have made their home here at the Luxor. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition has been viewed by 25 million visitors, making it one of the most-ttended exhibitions in history. The 25,000-square-foot exhibit has over 250 authentic artifacts recovered from the wreck, and even sports a full-scale re-creation of the Titanic’s Grand Staircase, where you can get married or have your picture taken.
Recently, however, the organizers of the exhibit has elected to retire several of its artifacts so that they can be preserved.
“We have made the determination that these seven objects need to come out of the rotation of being on display anywhere,” says Mark Loch, Creative Director of Premier Exhibitions. (Loch has also been to the wreckage himself.) “As much as we’re privileged to do the exhibitions, we’re more responsible for the care of the objects, and the folks that work at our lab have determined that it is time for them to go back to the lab and rest.”
Most of the artifacts are personal items such as pajamas, a paper notepad and even a Declaration of Intention form that can still be read clearly even after a century. They will be on display through July 18th, and will then be put away for the foreseeable future. You should take this opportunity to get up-close and personal with history before it is laid to rest. Titanic: The Artofact Exhibition will continue to present a plethora of artifacts, but sometimes, even history has to take a break from the spotlight.