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The Great Omar



 Swelling the chorus of approval for the meeting in Rochester is only
going to drive those who couldn't attend nuts--so I refrain. Instead, a
fun question to bat around on the list.  At the vendors tables (ah,
temptation, temptation) I purchased a couple of the posters of the Great
Omar from the folks at Shepherds and fell into conversation with Rob(?)
Shepherd about the likelihood of its recovery.  If recovered, could it
be salvaged??
  For those unacquainted with the saga, the Great Omar was a lavish
jewelled binding unique copy of the Rubiyiat which went down on the
Titanic. All that remained of it was a fuzzy black and white photo taken
of it before it left England.  The poster is a digital color re-creation
of that photo done with the assistance of modern computer scanning.  It
is quite stunning.  Now, the umpteen thousand gems in this binding are
probably fine, also the gold, but fine goat leather submerged in frigid
salt water for ninety years??  The book was in its own oak cask,
probably with padding and what not, and so might well be found when the
salvage operation is done (which won't be until after all survivors of
the tragedy have passed on, and their immediate families).  One presumes
the text is not of value, but if the binding can be found and freeze
dried or whatever one wonders if it will be in a condition worth keeping
as is, or whether it will simply be stripped of its jewels and gold and
discarded.
  Dorothy A.

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