SS Empress of Ireland

Collector asks for whom the Empress of Ireland bell shall toll

From Montreal CTV News

Philippe Beaudry is getting frustrated that his deal for his collection of items from the doomed Empress of Ireland still hasn't closed.

The vessel sank in May, 1914 after it collided with a Norwegian ship near Rimouski, making it the largest maritime accident in Canadian history, as 1,012 passengers and crew died in the disaster.

The horrific incident has long been Beaudry's great passion and has inspired him to spend 16 years collecting the world's largest Empress of Ireland collection, valued at over $3 million.

The ship's bell is all that remains in his possession, after he agreed to sell the rest of the items to the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau in December, following a grueling five-year negotiation.

"I cannot keep a treasure that has to be seen by the public," said Beaudry.

The deal was to be finalized April 12, 2012 but the federal review board responsible for approving the agreement has postponed its decision until June.

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