PARIS, SEPT. 9 -- The high-tech mini-submarine Nautile today made its 32nd plunge to the wreck of the Titanic, the final dive in a two-month French-American exploration of the sunken liner that has brought charges of grave-robbing.
Backers called the expedition an unparalleled success, netting 10,000 photographs of the wreck, miles of videotape and hundreds of artifacts, including a safe found outside the ship.
The fruits of the expedition are to be displayed Oct. 28 in a worldwide two-hour television hookup from Paris or Monte Carlo, during which the safe will be opened.
Officials said the mini-sub Nautile, manned by a crew of three, performed better than expected during its more than 150 hours on the 2 1/2-mile-deep sea bed since the project began July 10.
With the photographs and videotapes, researchers have a complete visual image of the outside of the wreck and portions of the inside that may shed new light on the maritime disaster.
Leaders of the $2.5 million expedition repeatedly denied charges they were violating the graves of those who died in the sinking.
Officials at Taurus International, one organizer of the expedition, said they hope such charges will end once they put the recovered artifacts on public display. By law, none may be sold.