More than 100 years after the sinking of the Titanic, a thousand kilometers from the nearest sea, a copy of the famous ocean liner is being created in the Chinese province of Sichuan. It will attract between two and five million tourists each year, says contractor Su Shaojun who leads the construction.
Su is the originator of the project, president of the investment company Seven Star Energy Investment Group, as well as a fan of James Cameron's film. "Titanic", which after its premiere in 1997 was very popular in China.
“I wanted to build a tourist center, but I didn't want to copy others and create another theme park. I wanted to build a center with a cultural depth, ”Su explained in an interview with the American radio station NPR.
The Chinese copy of the Titanic, under construction near the city of Daying, will be 269 meters long and 28 meters wide, and will cost 23,000 people to build. tons of steel. It is supposed to imitate a historical liner down to the smallest detail - from lavishly decorated interiors to the dinner menu.
However, the imitation is not intended for deep-sea expeditions. Upon completion, it will remain in Sichuan, where it will be the main attraction of the amusement park.
Building a copy of the Titanic is not cheap. The media estimated the value of the project at 1.1 billion yuan, or the equivalent of approximately $ 160 million. According to Su, however, these costs will be recovered from the sale of tickets.
“It will attract tourists from around the world. We estimate the number of visitors at two to five million a year. Such tourist traffic should guarantee a return on our investment, ”he said in a video shared in May by the AFP agency.
“First, all people know the Titanic. Second, Daying lies between two cities of 20 million, Chengdu and Chongqing. The person who designed the Chinese Disneyland came here and said we would have more visitors than they did, 'he said in a 2018 interview with NPR.
Initially, Su announced that the replica of the Titanic would be able to experience a simulated "hitting an iceberg" and experience the feeling of being on a sinking ship. However, she later withdrew this idea after criticism from relatives of the survivors.
The project has been running for several years and according to the initial announcements, it was to be completed in 2017. Work was suspended for some time due to financial disputes, but in April, the project's Facebook page said that the construction of the ninth floor of the structure was ongoing.
Su is not the only entrepreneur planning to build a copy of the Titanic. A floating replica of the famous ocean liner was announced a few years ago by Australian billionaire Clive Palmer. However, his project was also delayed due to funding problems. The entrepreneur announced the resumption of work in 2018, but no new information has appeared in the press since then.
The real Titanic sank in the Atlantic on the night of April 14-15, 1912, on its way from Great Britain to the United States. About 1,500 people died. There were eight Chinese on board, six of whom survived the crash.
Andrzej Borowiak from Canton (PAP)