New and amazing pictures of the Titanic, built in Belfast and sailing from Cork to New York when it foundered, have been revealed in a court case in Virginia.
The case is about the salvage rights to the ship’s content. The Titanic sunk off Newfoundland on April 14, 1912.
Among the artifacts are a never-before-seen intact porcelain bathtub in the cabin of Titanic captain Edward Smith. The tub was serviced by either freshwater or seawater taps, hot or cold depending on the captain's preference.
Smith went down with the ship and has been widely blamed for the sinking, as he had set the engines to maximum despite warnings that icebergs were in the area. He was one of an estimated 1,500 people who lost their lives in the tragedy, including hundreds of Irish in steerage. Many Irish gathered in the dining room to pray as the ship went under.
Those present in the courtroom in Norfolk were given 3D glasses to view the most spectacular images ever seen of the ghostly ship.
Titanic artifacts are worth millions, which make the salvage rights hugely lucrative. Estimates say remaining artifacts are worth over $100 million.
Twenty six years after the wreck was finally discovered, the dispute still goes on as to who can salvage artifacts and who can’t.
Scientists stated that the images will eventually allow a complete 3D tour of the wreck by members of the public, using a joystick to move around.
William N. Lange of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts told the court : 'We have an image of everything. That’s what’s important.
"This has never been done before in the deep sea."
The seas above the wreck are subject to fierce storms making salvage deeply hazardous. The 2010 expedition to the ship from which the 3D imagery was made cost $5 million, the court heard.