Bid to bring Titanic items to UK scrapped
Museum consortium outbid by hedge fund
Museums in the UK have had to abandon attempts to bring 5,500 artefacts salvaged from the wreck of the Titanic to Belfast .
The National Maritime Museum Greenwich and National Museums Northern Ireland have decided not to submit a bid for the items after a hedge fund pledged £16.5 million to current owners, Premier Exhibitions, who are filing for bankruptcy in the United States.
The UK consortium bid had been £14m to buy the artefacts.
In a statement, the National Maritime Museum Greenwich and National Museums Northern Ireland said: "The requirements for submitting a bid set forth in the debtors' bid procedures appear to have been drafted to prevent museums like ours from participating.
"The institutional limitations of our bid were made clear to the debtors well in advance of, and again after, the filing of the bid procedures with the bankruptcy court."
"We have raised significant funds to acquire the artefact collection and remain committed and willing to acquire the collection if given the opportunity."
Soon after the wreck was found, a privately-owned company called RMS Titanic Inc gained exclusive rights to salvage it and recovered a massive range of items from statues to shoes of the victims.
The thousands of relics were recovered from the seabed by seven expeditions between 1987 and 2004, before being sold to Premier Exhibitions.