Just when we thought the media coverage of cruise disasters had moved on, it’s back to haunt us.
The bizarre story of Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer, who plans to build and launch a replica of Titanic to operate the transatlantic run between Britain and the U.S., was widely mocked when the announcement was made a couple of months ago.
But it seems as though the project is a step closer to reality, as Palmer has hired Deltamarin, a Finnish marine engineering firm, to conduct a feasibility study on his design. As far as we know, no actual contract has been signed with the Chinese shipyard where the vessel will be built, but based on the hype around the scheme so far, does this mean we could be living and breathing Titanic II until the launch in 2016?
If that’s not enough, debate is raging this week about a fitting way to create a memorial to the 32 who died when Costa Concordia capsized in January — and judging by the response to our recent daily poll, the current proposal isn’t a popular one.
This is the plan. The mayor of Giglio, the island off which the ship went down, is planning to have the 80-ton boulder that’s wedged in the hull of the ship removed, at a cost of £40,000 (according to the Daily Mail), and turned into a monument to be displayed in Giglio harbor.
Tasteful or tacky? In our poll, 25.26% said it was appropriate; 22.11% couldn’t decide; 8.07% felt there should be no memorial; and a whopping 44.56% thought it was a bad idea.
Folks have their own reasons for rejecting the plan, but as quite a few have pointed out, it’s not the rock that caused the disaster — it was human error on the part of the ship’s Captain, who is currently awaiting trial. And won’t the mere sight of the rock, if it is used, simply conjure up distressing memories in years to come of the ship on its side, the boulder embedded in the jagged gash in its hull?
On the other hand, the people of Giglio played an important role in the rescue and presumably want to pay their respects, while the families of the victims will need some closure. So some kind of monument seems appropriate.
What do you think would be fitting? Let us know.
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