An Australian billionaire businessman by the name of Clive Palmer says he is to build a replica of the Titanic, the ship that sank in the North Atlantic 100 years ago on 15 April 1912, claiming the lives of 1,517 people at the time.
Palmer, who hails from Queensland, is a mining entrepreneur. He is chairman and founder of the mining company Mineralogy.
Palmer told Australian media yesterday about his Titanic II plans. He said he had signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s CSC Jinling Shipyard to build a replica of the RMS Titanic. He said construction of the vessel would begin in early 2013 and the ship would be ready to sail in 2016.
“It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art, 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” he said in a statement.
As for the RMS Titanic, it set sail from Southampton, England, on 10 April 1912, stopping in Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, before heading to New York on what would be its ill-fated maiden voyage.
At 11.40pm on 14 April 1912, Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and the ship sank at 2.20am on 15 April, claiming 1,517 lives, or 68pc of its crew and passengers, according to Titanic Facts.
Belfast is the city in which Titanic was built, at Harland and Wolff shipyards, from 1909 to 1911.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, a new interactive exhibition has opened at Titanic Belfast. The £97m, six-storey building resembles four prows of a ship with sliver steel panelling.