NewTitanic replica defended by Seven Star International boss
The director of a Chinese tourist resort has defended its replica of the Titanic which offers visitors the chance to experience a simulated iceberg crash.
The model of the doomed ocean liner is set to form the centrepiece of the £1.2bn Romandisea theme park.
Relatives of those who were on board have condemned the project – dubbed NewTitanic – as being in “bad taste”.
But theme park boss Shaojun Su said it would be “respectful”.
The original liner, built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast, hit an iceberg and sank in 1912, on its maiden voyage.
Mr Shaojun, chief executive of Yongle Seven Star Cultural Tourism Development Company, said the full-size replica would “respect history and the spirit” of those who died.
He was speaking during a visit to a Titanic convention in Southampton, where many passengers embarked.
The Titanic had “many Chinese fans” after the 1997 film starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, he said.
Speaking through an interpreter, he said the project would respect the “universal love” of those on board.
Delegates to the British Titanic Society convention in Southampton said they were upset by the plans.
Jean Legg, whose father was a steward on the liner, said: “My dad lived to be nearly 90 and those sights and sounds stayed with him to the end of his days.
“If he knew this was being replicated, I think he’d be turning in his grave.”
Robert Burr, the grandson of another steward, said the project was in “bad taste”.
But the Society’s president, Commodore Ron Warwick, said the replica would “perpetuate the memory of those who lost their lives”.
Construction of NewTitanic began in May 2014 in Sichuan province, with completion due early in 2019.
Yongle Seven Star said it “will offer visitors a ‘6D holiday experience’ as it simulates hitting an iceberg as the doomed cruise liner did in 1912”.