When it comes to sunken treasure, don’t put it past anyone to try and get their hands on it.
The cruise ship Costa Concordia capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio on January 13th after hitting a large rock. At least 25 people died, and the ships remains are slowly sinking.
Though the area where the ship wrecked is under surveillance by Italian police as they continue to investigate the tragic accident, someone (or some two) were able to remove the large brass bell inscribed with the vessel’s name from the waters.
Apparently, the bell was tethered with heavy bolts, and there is an array of laser systems that are being used to measure the wreck, but somehow the smart thieves made their way around these theft-nuisances.
Prosecutors are a bit peeved with the steal, but Giglio’s mayor, Sergio Ortelli, says the whole thing is kinda weird, according to the Daily Mail, “‘I can only guess that someone took it as a sort of morbid memento.”
It seems like looting sunken ships is one of the first worries for officials after a ship’s crash. This is particularly true for ships that have valuables (which include most ships) or historical items, such as the one that sunk off the coast of Capiz in the Philippines.
The country’s National Museum asked that the shipwreck area be classified as a “cultural and heritage site” to prevent the looting of artifacts such as centuries-old porcelain materials. Alas, many have already been taken and sold.
It’s interesting that human nature sometimes desires material goods that come from tragedy. But there is also the romantic notion of “buried treasure” that seems to continue on no matter how much we evolve.