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Wreck of Titanic to be protected by UNESCO
In this 1912 photo made available by the Library of Congress, Harold Bride, surviving wireless operator of the Titanic, with feet bandaged, is carried up the ramp of a ship. April 15, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, just five days after it left Southampton on its maiden voyage to New York. AP Photo/Library of Congress.
PARIS (AP).- The remains of the Titanic, under water for almost a century, are to fall under United Nations protection.

UNESCO, the U.N. cultural and scientific agency, says the wreck of the famed ship will fall under a 2001 convention on protecting underwater cultural heritage on the 100th anniversary of its sinking.

The convention only applies to remains submerged for more than 100 years. The Titanic sank April 15, 1912 in international waters in the North Atlantic.

Paris-based UNESCO said in a statement that the convention means signatory governments can seize artifacts stolen from the Titanic or prevent exploration "deemed unscientific or unethical."

In the statement, UNESCO director Irina Bokova expressed concern about the destruction and looting of shipwrecks and underwater archaeological sites.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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April 7, 2012

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