Finnish businessman wants to build new Titanic
The copy of the doomed ship, which sank in April 1912 killing about 1,500 passengers and crew, would be 269 metres long and cater to tourists and exhausted shoppers.
Helsinki -- A flamboyant Finnish businessman said earlier this week that he aimed to build a full-sized copy of the Titanic on dry land, housing a hotel and restaurants to lure tourists to northern Finland.
"Everybody in Europe knows the Titanic. There are no tourist attractions in the Oulu region and I think it could attract tourists from abroad," Toivo Sukari told AFP.
Sukari, who runs a furniture store chain called Masku and has built a huge shopping centre called Ideapark in southern Finland near Tampere, said he was putting together a plan and financing for another shopping centre in the small village of Kiiminki, some 630 kilometres (391 miles) north of Helsinki.
The copy of the doomed ship, which sank in April 1912 killing some 1,500 passengers and crew, would be 269 metres (882 feet) long and 28 metres (92 feet) wide and would be built next to the shopping centre to cater for tourists and exhausted shoppers.
He did not say how high the structure would be, but the original Titanic towered 53 metres (175 feet) from keel to stack.
"It could have a hotel and a number of restaurants inside," Sukari said.
Building the copy of the Titanic would cost between 30 and 40 million euros (41-54 million dollars), he said, adding that he aimed to make as true a copy of the original as possible.
"I am sure Japanese tourists, who go skiing in Lapland, would be interested to see it," he said.
If all goes according to plan, the construction of the new shopping mall and the Titanic copy would begin this year and would be open for business in November 2011.