Titanic wreck to receive U.N. protection

April 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM

UNITED NATIONS, April 5 (UPI) -- The United Nations says it will put the wreck of the Titanic under cultural protection of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Unesco says more than 700 divers have visited the wreck site 13,000 feet under water off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, and putting it under protection will prevent unscientific or unethical exploration, the BBC reported Thursday.

The Titanic was "anchored in the memory of humanity" and it was important to protect the site where 1,500 people lost their lives, Unesco Director General Irina Bokova said.

"There are thousands of other shipwrecks that need safeguarding as well," she said. "We do not tolerate the plundering of cultural sites on land, and the same should be true for our sunken heritage."

The Titanic will fall under the 2001 Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage once it passes the 100th anniversary of its sinking April 15, as the convention only protects vessels that sank more than a century ago.

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