08/01/2012 08:43 GMT | Updated 08/01/2012 09:07 GMT

Titanic Auction: Salvage Items Valued At $189m To Be Sold On 100th Anniversary Of Liner's Sinking

More than 5,000 Items salvaged from the wreck of the RMS Titanic are to be auctioned in April, marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the world-famous White Star liner in 1912, which claimed more than 1,500 lives.

Organised by Guernsey's Auctioneers & Brokers in Manhattan, the sale, described by Guernsey's President Arlan Ettinger as the most "significant auction" in the company's history, is to be sold as a single lot and to a buyer who agreed to its upkeep and public viewing.

The collection was valued in 2007 at around $189m, and includes a piece of the stricken vessel's hull, as well as fixtures and fittings and myriad smaller personal items from the passengers and crew, many who perished when the ship struck on iceberg and sunk on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Ettinger said: "Who on this planet doesn't know the story of the Titanic and isn't fascinated by it? Could Hollywood have scripted a more tragic or goose-bump-raising story than what actually happened on that ship?"

"It is as poignant to my 12-year-old son as it is to me and generations before me. There's no end to the fascination about it," he added.

The items were salvaged from various expeditions to the sunken hulk, which sits on the ocean floor more than two miles below the surface. After years of searching, the wreck was finally discovered by oceanographer Robert Ballard in 1985, sitting 400 miles of the coast of Newfoundland.

However, the auction has still yet to receive the go-ahead from a US federal court that holds jurisdiction over the wreck and its salvage. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith has already ruled that the collection could not be broken up and sold individually.

Enjoy a collection of the sunken treasures here: