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Titanic salvors win claim to artifacts

A company that has recovered and preserved thousands of artifacts from the sunken wreck of the R.M.S. Titanic has won the right to be well compensated for its efforts.

But an opinion this week from Norfolk U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith does not resolve the means of compensation – a decision on that issue could take another year, according to Norfolk attorney Robert McFarland.

Smith’s opinion grants McFarland’s client, R.M.S. Titanic, Inc., a salvage award of 100 percent of the fair market value of the artifacts, estimated at around $110 million.  Payment could come through a judicial sale of the items or by granting title to the artifacts with restrictions on their disposition.

“It’s excellent news for us and the company,” said McFarland.

Indeed. The Virginian-Pilot reports the stock of a parent company rose 50 percent on news of the salvage award.

By Peter Vieth

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