Behind Titanic Replica's Delay: Movie Didn't Say It Was So Big

NPR looks at the progress being made on full-scale replica in China
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2018 1:40 PM CST
Behind Titanic Replica's Delay: Movie Didn't Say It Was So Big
In this Wednesday, April 10, 1912 file photo, the British passenger liner Titanic leaves Southampton, England on her maiden voyage.   (AP Photo)

The Titanic will float again—it just won't sail anywhere. NPR checks in on the progress being made in China on a full-scale replica of the Titanic that's being built hundreds of miles from the ocean. An infomercial played at the site touts an Aug. 30, 2017, completion date (and features an American who proclaims, "The Chinese are amazing!"), and the man at the helm of the project has an unexpected excuse for the missed deadline: "The movie didn't mention how big it was," says Su Shaojun, referring to the James Cameron film that inspired him to build the replica and a countryside resort around it. Su's assertion seems to contradict a statement he made in late 2016 about the Titanic's complete blueprints essentially being lost after it sank but pieced together by Su's group, which he said spent years amassing blueprint fragments that were in private hands, per CNN.

The project in Daying, Sichuan Province, has years to go, though the hull is finished. Su sees the land-locked location (the ship will float in a not-yet-made man-made reservoir) as a smart one, saying it lies between Chengdu and Chongqing, which are home to a collective 40 million people. "The person who designed China's Disneyland came here and said we'd have more visitors than them," he says. The originally stated plan to make the attraction "hit" an iceberg has apparently been shelved following criticism, but still might be a part of the finished project should it get finished. "We [wouldn't] call it 'hitting the iceberg.' We just want to show that people should let women and children go first when facing a disaster." (The "most important letter written on the Titanic" has been sold.)

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