International

Australian Billionaire Says He's Building 'Titanic II;' Would You Go Aboard?

April 4, 1912: The Titanic leaves Southampton, England, on her ill-fated first voyage. i i

April 4, 1912: The Titanic leaves Southampton, England, on her ill-fated first voyage. Southampton City Council /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Southampton City Council /AFP/Getty Images
April 4, 1912: The Titanic leaves Southampton, England, on her ill-fated first voyage.

April 4, 1912: The Titanic leaves Southampton, England, on her ill-fated first voyage.

Southampton City Council /AFP/Getty Images

Saying that "of course it will sink if you put a hole in it," Australia's wealthiest business executive today announced he has contracted with a Chinese shipbuilder to construct a replica of the Titanic.

Mining magnate Clive Palmer also, as The Sydney Morning Herald reports, said he's planning to run for a seat in Australia's parliament.

Billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer, who says he's building a Titanic II. i i

Billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer, who says he's building a Titanic II. Tertius Pickard /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Tertius Pickard /AFP/Getty Images
Billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer, who says he's building a Titanic II.

Billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer, who says he's building a Titanic II.

Tertius Pickard /AFP/Getty Images

Australian Broadcasting Corp. calls Palmer "the human whoopee cushion of Australian politics" and says that "never before has such an ambitious non-sequitur been attempted in the field of Australian enterprise" — a run for office combined with an audacious new business venture.

Perhaps the appropriate American comparison would be to Donald Trump.

As for the Titanic II, according to the Morning Herald:

"Mr Palmer said his new company Blue Star Line Pty Ltd had commissioned the state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build a near replica of the ill-fated Titanic. The cost is unknown.

" 'It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,' he said."

Palmer is hoping the ship will be ready to sail in 2016, the BBC says, and the first passenger-carrying voyage would be from London to New York.

The world just finished marking the 100th anniversary of the original Titanic's sinking. On her maiden voyage from England to New York, she went down on April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg. More than 1,500 people died.

Here's what we wonder:

(Note: That's just a question, not a survey of public opinion.)

Related NPR Stories

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.