UK & World News
Titanic II 'Not In Bad Taste', Insists Maker
An Australian billionaire has admitted his plans to build a replica Titanic will make him "a lot of money" but denied this was his motivation for the project.
Mining magnate Professor Clive Palmer, who wants his Titanic II passenger liner to sail from Southampton to New York in just three years' time, hit back at claims that the vision is a publicity stunt.
At a press conference at the Ritz hotel in central London, he said: "Money wasn't my primary consideration for this."
He then joked with journalists: "But it looks like, unfortunately, I'll make a lot of money out of it!"
Critics say the project will never be a reality and is in bad taste, given that more than 1,500 people - including 500 Britons - died when the Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage in 1912.
But Mr Palmer said his vessel would "pay tribute" to the dead and stop them from being forgotten.
He said: "Titanic II, for us, is a great monument to all the British seamen who have gone to sea from Southampton or from other ports in England throughout the world.
"All of them have given great service to their country and created a greater understanding between nations.
" ... It's very fitting that that work is remembered, and also it's very important that we look at the Titanic story."
Further rebuffing the sceptics, he later added: "We're building four ships now bigger than the Titanic at the shipyard. I'm not somebody with no money. I've got enough money to build the Titanic ten times over if I wanted. So, there's no need for publicity. I'm trying to avoid the media if I can."
At 883ft (269m) the Titanic II will be three inches longer than the original. It will have a total of 835 first, second and third class cabins and will be able to carry 2,435 passengers and 900 crew.
Mr Palmer said he wanted passengers to experience what it was like in 1912.
The new ship will be a mix of modern technology and original designs, but Mr Palmer insisted there will be no internet connection, so people would have to speak to each other rather than be checking their emails and Twitter accounts.
what do you think?
Hopefully it will be full of bankers and politicians on it's maiden voyage and meet an iceberg.
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