Construction has begun on a full size replica of the Titanic which will be the focal point of a new theme park in Sichuan province, China.
Romandisea Seven Star International Cultural Tourism Resort, set to open towards the end of 2017, is situated in Da Ying county, 114 km from Chengdu.
The 6.7 mio km² resort will have the New Titanic liner as its centrepiece, together with a 6D theatre, a man made beach, a spa resort and an amusement park as well as replicas of a Venetian church and European castles. Final plans include a simulation of the iceberg collision that sank the original ship in 1912.
The story of the ill fated ship sparked the interest of the Chinese public following the 1997 blockbuster starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.
The film only had a 90% scale replica vessel for filming, and so the 269m long New Titanic will be the first full size replica ever been built. The Chinese copy will include features capturing the decadence of the times including a ballroom, theatre, swimming pool and first-class cabins.
Interest in the Titanic remains strong even a century after the ship set sail. In September, the £97 million Titanic Belfast museum was named Europe’s Leading Visitor Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
It is not surprising says Steven Star Chief Executive Su Shaojun, that the story of the Titanic has an international appeal: “It’s not like a certain country owns this thing. Just like the U.S. can make (animation film) ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and that’s very common. Same with ‘Mulan’. For China, the Titanic represents something of universal value.”
New Titanic represents an investment of more than RMB1 billion (USD148 million) by Seven Star group. Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group are to build the full scale model of the Titanic.
UK readers may be interested to know that Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair’s former communications chief, is also reported to be connected to the project and was in attendance at the Hull Assembly Ceremony last week.