Updates:Premier Exhibitions Loses Round in Court;Changes to Management and Board

PremierExhibitionslogo1) Premier Exhibitions recently sought permission to sell items from the French Titanic collection. Since these items are outside of U.S.Federal Court , it reasoned that an expedited approval by the bankruptcy court would make the sale possible. The court turned down this request noting that under bankruptcy law that Premier Exhibitions must pursue what is called an adversary proceeding. Since the items in question were awarded by French officials, they may object to these items being put up for auction if the conditions they were awarded to the company excluded their sale.  Premier must now go through a process to allow possible third parties (either the French government or other parties of interest)to object and a finding be made.
Source: Premier Exhibition Sale Denied (Bankrupt Company News, 27 Jul 2016)
Document Source: ORDER ON MOTION FOR ORDER AUTHORIZING THE DEBTORS TO MARKET AND SELL CERTAIN TITANIC ARTIFACTS FREE AND CLEAR OF LIENS, CLAIMS, AND INTERESTS (In re: Premier Exhibitions, et el. U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District Florida, Jacksonville Division, 22 Jul 2016)

2. Perhaps in light of the bankruptcy filing (and increased pressure to show records to demonstrate exactly what is going on inside Premier), the company recently announced some changes. The new CEO is Jerome Henshall,the current chairman of the Audit Committee who replaces Michael Little who has been let go (or the better British word sacked). Mingcheng Tao has resigned from the Board of Directors and two new “independent” directors–Mark Bains and Guo Ding–have been appointed to the Board of Directors. Bains qualification is that he is the Chief Executive Officer of MJB Technology Solutions Ltd. Guo Ding qualifications are his “extensive experience as a political, cultural, and media correspondent for various national and international news agencies. He has appeared on television, print, and radio in Canada, China, US, and Hong Kong among many other countries. He has also authored several books published in both Chinese and English. Mr. Ding holds a Master of Arts from Rikyo University (Tokyo, Japan) and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Shanghai Normal University.” So if I get it right they have put a respected commentator of Chinese affairs on the board of directors. I get the independent part but has he ever run a business?
Source:Premier Exhibitions Inc. Announces Corporate Update (Globe Newswire Press Release,27 July 2016)


24 July 1911:Machu Pichu Discovered

Martin St-Amant - Wikipedia - CC-BY-SA-3.0
Martin St-Amant – Wikipedia – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Machu Pichu is one of the most exciting archeological discoveries of the 20th century. High in the Andes northwest of Cuzco, Peru, this former sacred city of the Inca leaders lay undiscovered when the Inca fell due to the Spanish invasion in the sixteenth century. The Spanish never found Machu Pichu so it remained virtually untouched for hundreds of years and its location known only by those who lived nearby. In the summer of 1911 American archeologist Hiram Bingham was directing a Yale archaeological expedition to find Vilcabamba*, a lost city of the Incas. Vilcabamba was alleged to have been a secret stronghold of the Incas during the rebellion against the Spanish in the sixteenth century. Its location was a mystery and the Spanish never found it but Bingham was determined to follow the clues scattered in chronicles from that period. The clues seemed to indicated it was near Cuzco.

Traversing the Andes even during the best of times is not easy and he risked his life visiting several Inca sites. He was urged by a local prefect to visit the Urubamba River valley to find the ruins of Choquequirau (“Cradle of Gold”). He ended up meeting Melchor Arteaga,a Quechua-speaking resident, and on 24 July 1911 was taken to the ruins of Machu Pichu. He found well preserved stonework and noticed the similarity of the structures to the Temple of the Sun in Cuzco. Since the ruins were covered in vegetation, a second expedition in 1912 was undertook to excavate the area. Subsequent expeditions would continue to do that task in 1914 and 1915. Reconstruction would also take place as well to restore the city to its former glory. Peru declared it a Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site.

Unlike Hiram Bingham and others who came to the site in the early days, visitors can either walk the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu (there are several options from the full six day hike to just one day) or take a train. Due to the effects of so many people visiting the site, Peru has put restrictions to limit the numbers of hikers and visitors to Machu Pichu. Those taking the longer trails should know that the ascent can lead to altitude sickness.  Machu Pichu is 7,970 feet above sea level. If you have ever visited Cuzco, there is a reason they have air tanks ready for visitors.

*Bingham believed he had found Vilcabamba but in 1964 American archaeologist Gene Savoy believed the excavation of Espíritu Pampa was a more likely candidate. Subsequent excavations and other research has determined that this was the likely site of Vilcabamba.

Sources:
1. Hiram Bingham (Encyclopedia Brittanica)
2. Machu Pichu (Destination Machu Pichu)

Friday Rewind:Going Down To Liverpool (The Bangles)

Going Down To Liverpool was originally written by Kimberley Rew for his group Katrina and The Waves. The song was part of the album Shock Horror!(1982)that was only issued in Canada. The Bangles covered the song in their 1984 debut album All Over The Place. The song while a minor hit in England found little traction in the U.S. Their second album Different Light in 1986 was more popular and Going Down to Liverpool was re-released as a single. It did much better though still a minor hit. But it was the video directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs–the mother of Bangles singer Susanna Hoffs–that would give the song greater visibility because it had in it a well known actor. That actor, known by fans of Star Trek as Mr. Spock, was a friend of the Hoff’s family. His appearance made this video a popular one when it ran.


Rare Titanic Postcard Turns Up In Charity Bookstore

Postcard of the Titanic found in a book donated to Books for Amnesty, 103 Gloucester Rd, Bristol UK Source: Bristol Post Date:  20/07/2016 Photographer: Michael Lloyd/Freelance Reporter: Lewis Pennock Copyright: Local World
Postcard of the Titanic found in a book donated to Books for Amnesty, 103 Gloucester Rd, Bristol UK
Source: Bristol Post
Date: 20/07/2016
Photographer: Michael Lloyd/Freelance
Reporter: Lewis Pennock
Copyright: Local World

Sometimes people forget to remove things from items before donating to charity. And such was the case when a rare Titanic postcard slipped out of a book donated to Books For Amnesty in Bristol, UK. The card, which shows Titanic docked in Southampton before its maiden voyage, is dated to 1912. And was done by a local photographer.

Colin Richardson, a volunteer at the store and has an interest in postcards himself, was astonished at the remarkable find. The card has been put up for sale on Ebay and could fetch close to £99 ($130).


Luxor Titanic Exhibit To Extend Showing of Rare Artifacts

Image:Premier Exhibitions
Image:Premier Exhibitions

Seven rare artifacts will have an extended stay at the Titanic exhibit at the Luxor Hotel & Casino until August 1, 2016. Those items are:

  • Declaration of Intention Form: 2nd class passenger Franz Pulbaum, a machinist originally from Germany, clearly intended to become a U.S. citizen upon his return to New York City. He had been on a business trip to Luna Park amusement park in Paris. The form would have been used to allow him a smooth disembarkation. Pulbaum’s signature and personal information is still legible on the naturalization form. Pulbaum never became a U.S. citizen, he went down with Titanic.
  • White Star Line Receipt for “One canary in Cage”: Recovered from Marion Meanwell’s alligator purse, this small receipt fragment appears to confirm that 3rd class passenger, Mrs. Meanwell (nee Mary Ann Ogden), a milliner from Eastbourne Sussex, England agreed to transport a relative’s canary from Southampton to Cherbourg. Additional information suggests that Chief Purser Hugh Walter McElroy took responsibility for the bird, while transport payment was provided by Mrs. Meanwell.
  • Cotton Pajamas: This pair of men’s pajamas is made of white cotton with blue stripes. No maker marks were found, they are a size medium with button shirt and drawstring bottoms. The deterioration around the neck and body appear to reflect normal wear and tear.
  • Pair of Gloves: This degraded pair of cotton gloves was originally white and probably belonged to a gentleman. They are still attached at the cuff, so they had not yet been worn. The gloves were recovered from a suitcase containing unmarked pajamas, jackets, and other clothing.
  • Waiter’s Pad Blank Page: Waiters from the exclusive à la carte restaurant on board would jot down lunch and dinner orders on pads such as this for the chefs to prepare in the galley. Unlike the First Class Dining Saloon, which cooked in larger quantities, the à la carte restaurant prepared each individual meal to order.
  • Pair of Socks: This is one of three pairs of cotton and silk socks recovered from a single suitcase. These were neatly folded by the owner for his Titanic journey. While the clothing in this passenger’s suitcase was of good quality, these socks have been darned in several places, showing a thrifty character as well.
  • Left Shoe: This men’s leather shoe fragment consists of the welt, top cap and partial quarter with the insole. Attesting to the meticulous care under which all artifacts are conserved, this shoe has never been previously exhibited due to its fragile condition.

After August 1 they are scheduled to return to the conservation facility where they will only be available to researchers.

Friday Titanic Tidbits

*Celine Dion is sporting a Titanic sweatshirt that is getting some media buzz. Commonly called a hoodie these days, this is not something to be found at your local big box retailer. The 80% cotton/20% polyester and made in Portugal will cost you $885 at Vetements.

*I knew it was going to happen someday. A proposed Chinese-American film will offer a “fresh take” on Titanic. And what will that be? Well according to China Film Insider the film plot will involve a conspiracy. No doubt it will weave in elements made popular by those who believe the Illuminati was involved, that Olympic and not Titanic was sunk for insurance money, or that a dastardly German plot using a submarine was involved. Or perhaps it will go the supernatural route. A cursed Egyptian mummy is brought aboard and escapes causing mayhem and death. Abbott and Costello could have had fun with that one.

Thomas Andrews, 1911 Public Domain-US
Thomas Andrews, 1911
Public Domain-US

*The former home of Thomas Andrews in Belfast, N.I. has been for some years been the home of the Irish Football Association. They have since moved their headquarters and put the property up for sale. According to Belfast Telegraph, it has been purchased by Action Cancer and will be used to treat women suffering from breast cancer.


Premier Exhibitions Update:U.S.Trustee Files Objection To Artifact Sale

PremierExhibitionslogoThe U.S. Trustee has filed an objection to Premier’s motion to sell artifacts from the French Collection. “The Sale Motion should be denied because it is not noticed to all required parties, does not include a description of sale procedures, does not describe the property to be sold, and, at least at this early stage in the case, does not meet the standard.”

Source: Premier Exhibitions Objection Filed(Bankrupt Company News,6 Jul 2016)


Titanic Belfast:Visitors Will See American Exhibition About Race To South Pole

Roald Amundsen and his crew looking at the Norwegian flag at the South Pole, 1911 Public Domain(Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation)
Roald Amundsen and his crew looking at the Norwegian flag at the South Pole, 1911
Public Domain(Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation)

What did Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott face in their race to the South Pole? Amundsen and Scott were at the forefront of Antarctic explorations along with others such as Ernest Shackleton and Francis Crozier. The journey to be the first to make it to the South Pole was fraught with all kinds of peril explorers had to endure. And an exhibition from the New York American Museum of Natural History has opened at Titanic Belfast to educate people about this race.

Using multimedia and hands-on exhibits, visitors will get an understanding and appreciation for what these explorers did. This is the first time this exhibition has been to Belfast and the U.K. The exhibition is in Andrew’s Gallery and will be there till 28 Aug.

Source:American exhibition comes to Titanic Belfast(The Irish News,5 Jul 2016)

Battle Hymn of the Republic

The Star Spangled Banner and America The Beautiful are traditional favorites for Fourth of July celebrations (and other important days as well). The Battle Hymn of The Republic is another favorite. This rendition is performed by the U. S. Army Chorus. It is a stirring song written during the American Civil War by Julia Ward Howe.