Rock that ripped cruise to become memorial

Jun 14, 2012, 08:02 IST | Agencies

A massive chunk of rock which ripped a hole in the side of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, causing it to capsize six months ago, is to be removed and made into a permanent memorial to the victims of the disaster.

The 80-tonne rock was wrenched off a reef when the luxury cruise liner veered too close to the island of Giglio, off the Tuscan coast, on the night of January 13.The mayor of the island announced on Wednesday that it will be prized out of the Concordia’s hull as part of the ongoing operation to recover the wreck. It will then be installed as a monument to the 32 people of a dozen nationalities who died in the tragedy. Sergio Ortelli, the mayor, said the plan had been agreed with Costa Cruises, the Genoa-based company that owns the Concordia.

In tribute: The mayor said that the 80-tonne rock against which Costa Concordia crashed would be prized out and made into a memorial. file pic/getty images

“Giglio will never be able to forget the tragedy that struck 32 families who lost their loved ones, and for this reason we want to recover the rock and dedicate it to them,” Ortelli said. The operation to refloat the Concordia, which lies on its side in shallow waters off Giglio’s rocky shore, has been described by the salvage company in charge as “unprecedented”.  

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