17:44 EST, 30 November 2016 | 15:04 EST, 1 December 2016
The construction of a controversial £116million life-size replica of the Titanic began in China yesterday.
A keel-laying ceremony and fireworks marked the start of work in the southwestern Sichuan province.
The replica plans sparked controversy when it was announced the design would include a simulation of the iceberg crash that sank the original ship in the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912. Some 1,500 people died in the disaster.
The construction of the controversial £116million life-size replica of the Titanic began in Suining, China yesterday
The keel of Titanic replica was laid by staff during a ceremony celebrating the beginning of construction
The replica sparked controversy when it was announced the design would include a simulation of the iceberg crash that sank the original ship in the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912. Some 1,500 people died in the disaster
The life-size replica will be permanently docked in the Daying Qi river in Sichuan
The original Titanic (pictured) set off on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 1912
Backers say the design will also play on the 1997 blockbuster ‘Titanic’ movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
It is part of Star Energy Investment Group’s plans for a tourist resort along the Qijiang River in Sichuan’s Daying County.
Steven Star Chief Executive Su Shaojun said it is not be strange that the replica is being built in China.
He said: ‘It’s not like a certain country owns this thing. Just like the U.S. can make ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and that’s very common. Same with ‘Mulan’. For China, the Titanic represents something of universal value.’
Backers say the design will also play on the 1997 blockbuster ‘Titanic’ movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
Guests will have to pay at least 3,000 Yuan (£315) a night for a cabin on board the ship
The food on offer will be the same as that served on board the Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912
Every detail from the door handles to light switches will be painstakingly reproduced
The more expensive rooms will cost around 100,000 Yuan
Shaojun added the project would probably be finished by the end of 2017.
Hollywood production designer and producer Curtis Schnell is the projects Titanic design expert.
He said despite criticism online that a tragedy in which some 1,500 people died was being resurrected for tourism purposes, Seven Star has realised the venture in a ‘very respectful way’.
Guests will even get the chance to relive the moment the ship hit the iceberg during a hi-tech simulation involving light and sound effects. The scene was recreated in the Oscar-winning movie (pictured)
‘We’re trying to get as close as we can,’ he said. ‘We are not building every room in the ship, by any means, but the shell of the ship and the exteriors will be quite accurate, there will be interior rooms to be able to tour and see from the standpoint of historical accuracy.’
The new resort will also feature a man-made beach, a ‘6D’ movie theatre and replicas of a Venetian church and European castles.