UNESCO says Titanic is under its protection now
— UNESCO Amman Office (@UNESCOJordan) April 9, 2012
From UNESCO’s website:
The vestiges of the Titanic lie at a depth of 4,000 meters off the coast of Newfoundland. No single State can claim the site because the wreck is in international waters. States only have jurisdiction over wrecks lying in their own waters and flying their flag. Previously the Titanic was not eligible for protection under the UNESCO Convention, which only applies to remains submerged for at least 100 years.
From now on, States Parties to the Convention can outlaw the destruction, pillage, sale and dispersion of objects found at the site. They can take all possible measures within their power to protect the wreck and ensure that the human remains there are treated with dignity. The 2001 Convention provides for system of cooperation between States Parties, to prevent exploration deemed unscientific or unethical. They also have the authority to seize any illicitly recovered artefacts and close their ports to all vessels undertaking exploration that is not done according to the principles of the Convention.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed her satisfaction that the Titanic could now be properly safeguarded, but voiced concern over the damage and looting of the countless ancient shipwrecks that new technology has made accessible.