Plans for Titanic theme park in China has sparked anger among families of Southampton victims of disaster

Daily Echo: Actor Bernard Hill at launch of theme park Actor Bernard Hill at launch of theme park

IT IS one of the most tragic events in world history and affected hundreds of Southampton families.

But now the sinking of Titanic could become one of the world’s most popular attractions after plans were unveiled for a theme park in China based on the 1912 disaster which killed 1,500 people.

The £100m project is being funded by the Seven Star Energy Investment Group and will be based in the landlocked Sichuan province, 932 miles from the nearest ocean.

Daily Echo:

It would include a simulator that would allow hundreds of people to feel the “shake and tumble” of the shipwreck.

Theme park goers will experience the feeling of water pouring down on them through light and sound effects – leaving them fearing they may drown.

But the idea has sparked fierce criticism in Hampshire, with the plan slammed as “insensitive” and “deplorable”.

Douglas Piper, 80, whose grandfather John Barnes was a fireman on the ship, said: “This is exploitation. I don’t go in for that sort of thing and I don’t like anyone who wants to make money or jokes out of a disaster.”

Daily Echo:

Mr Piper, from Sholing, secretary of the Solent branch of the Merchant Navy Association, added: “The idea should never have got off the ground but you just can’t control people who want to make money.”

Geoff Watts, founder of the Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery, which has memorials to survivors of the disaster as well as those lost at sea, said it was a “bad idea”.

He said: “I can’t speak for the society on the whole, but personally it’s not something I want to see. Our attitude is one of respect the whole story, of the Titanic and those who died or survived it. Our Titanic memorial tours are thoroughly respectful.”

Daily Echo:

Rudi Newman, honorary secretary of the British Titanic Society, said the plan was “frankly deplorable”.

He said: “When Clive Palmer started suggesting a ‘Titanic 2’ there were positives and negatives and public opinion on that project hinged on whether it was treated like a theme park.

“To actually have a theme park being proposed is in incredibly poor taste.

Whatever next, the Pompeii experience?”

He added: “An amusement park based on a truly horrible disaster is frankly deplorable.”

But others have defended the park, including actor Bernard Hill, who appeared as doomed Captain Edward Smith in the hit 1997 James Cameron film Titanic.

He was at the launch of the project in Hong Kong and insisted the attraction “would not belittle the disaster”.

Su Shaojun, chief executive of Seven Star, added: “We think it’s worth spreading the spirit of the Titanic. The universal love and sense of responsibility shown during the Titanic shipwreck represent the spiritual richness of human civilisation.

We will let people experience water coming in by using sound and light effects. They will think, ‘The water will drown me, I must escape with my life’.”

The park, expected to open in 2016, would also feature a manmade beach, a ‘6D’ cinema and replicas of European castles.

Comments (27)

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11:00am Fri 17 Jan 14

loosehead says...

the question should be what the hell has the Titanic to do with China?
how on earth can a theme park or even a museum be built in a country which has sweet fa to do with this ship?
next they're be a theme park based on the London Blitz built there come on lets get real it should never have been alloweded
the question should be what the hell has the Titanic to do with China? how on earth can a theme park or even a museum be built in a country which has sweet fa to do with this ship? next they're be a theme park based on the London Blitz built there come on lets get real it should never have been alloweded loosehead
  • Score: 15

11:13am Fri 17 Jan 14

Linesman says...

They appear to be 'cashing in' on a disaster.

Whether or not it is in poor taste is debateable, but they are not the first to have done so.
They appear to be 'cashing in' on a disaster. Whether or not it is in poor taste is debateable, but they are not the first to have done so. Linesman
  • Score: 15

11:24am Fri 17 Jan 14

Ozmosis says...

Smacks of poor taste to me. How about we create a theme park based on Chinese natural disasters? For example, here's what it's like to be:
* drowned in floods
* washed away by landslides
*trapped in a building during/after an earthquake
I'm sure the Chinese Authorities wouldn't be nonchalant about it.
Smacks of poor taste to me. How about we create a theme park based on Chinese natural disasters? For example, here's what it's like to be: * drowned in floods * washed away by landslides *trapped in a building during/after an earthquake I'm sure the Chinese Authorities wouldn't be nonchalant about it. Ozmosis
  • Score: 10

11:38am Fri 17 Jan 14

sotonboy84 says...

What more can you expect froma country that claims to be civilised but skins defenseless animals alive.

Maybe the UK should open a theme park called the "Summer Palace experience". That still seems to be a very sore spot for the Chinese that they still feel bitter about.
What more can you expect froma country that claims to be civilised but skins defenseless animals alive. Maybe the UK should open a theme park called the "Summer Palace experience". That still seems to be a very sore spot for the Chinese that they still feel bitter about. sotonboy84
  • Score: 11

11:51am Fri 17 Jan 14

Bob Barnes says...

I must say i agree with your comments as some of yo may know i live in Thailand & the majority of the larger stores are owned by the Chinese they have money they manipulate, they rule there neighbours , most the Thais hate them like parasites , this idea should never happen what the fkk has the Titanic got to do with them, zilch? Just another money making thing that they can make more, believe me, some comments I have seen about the Chinese buying SFC would be a disaster & asset stripping when they have made there dosh, prior to my leavin the U/k it was suggested that that this theme would be in Soton the rightfull place what happened? .
Excuse some of my spelling.
Rgds to all
Bob
I must say i agree with your comments as some of yo may know i live in Thailand & the majority of the larger stores are owned by the Chinese they have money they manipulate, they rule there neighbours , most the Thais hate them like parasites , this idea should never happen what the fkk has the Titanic got to do with them, zilch? Just another money making thing that they can make more, believe me, some comments I have seen about the Chinese buying SFC would be a disaster & asset stripping when they have made there dosh, prior to my leavin the U/k it was suggested that that this theme would be in Soton the rightfull place what happened? . Excuse some of my spelling. Rgds to all Bob Bob Barnes
  • Score: 3

11:56am Fri 17 Jan 14

georgetheseventh says...

Didn't take the skipper long to get back for a photo shoot.
Didn't take the skipper long to get back for a photo shoot. georgetheseventh
  • Score: 8

11:59am Fri 17 Jan 14

georgetheseventh says...

Isnt there a big plastic version of Titanic sailing the oceans right now and visiting the exact spot of sinking...all in the best possible taste Sir.
Isnt there a big plastic version of Titanic sailing the oceans right now and visiting the exact spot of sinking...all in the best possible taste Sir. georgetheseventh
  • Score: 11

12:02pm Fri 17 Jan 14

georgetheseventh says...

Bob Barnes wrote:
I must say i agree with your comments as some of yo may know i live in Thailand & the majority of the larger stores are owned by the Chinese they have money they manipulate, they rule there neighbours , most the Thais hate them like parasites , this idea should never happen what the fkk has the Titanic got to do with them, zilch? Just another money making thing that they can make more, believe me, some comments I have seen about the Chinese buying SFC would be a disaster & asset stripping when they have made there dosh, prior to my leavin the U/k it was suggested that that this theme would be in Soton the rightfull place what happened? .
Excuse some of my spelling.
Rgds to all
Bob
Bob...how would we know you live in Thalnd
[quote][p][bold]Bob Barnes[/bold] wrote: I must say i agree with your comments as some of yo may know i live in Thailand & the majority of the larger stores are owned by the Chinese they have money they manipulate, they rule there neighbours , most the Thais hate them like parasites , this idea should never happen what the fkk has the Titanic got to do with them, zilch? Just another money making thing that they can make more, believe me, some comments I have seen about the Chinese buying SFC would be a disaster & asset stripping when they have made there dosh, prior to my leavin the U/k it was suggested that that this theme would be in Soton the rightfull place what happened? . Excuse some of my spelling. Rgds to all Bob[/p][/quote]Bob...how would we know you live in Thalnd georgetheseventh
  • Score: -4

12:17pm Fri 17 Jan 14

jonone says...

"next they're be a theme park based on the London Blitz built"

What, like the Britain at War experience that used to be on Tooley Street in London which supposedly created a living experience of an event which killed a large number of people. You were all foaming with indignation when that opened then?

If people want to go to a Titanic theme park, let them. You don't have to.
"next they're be a theme park based on the London Blitz built" What, like the Britain at War experience that used to be on Tooley Street in London which supposedly created a living experience of an event which killed a large number of people. You were all foaming with indignation when that opened then? If people want to go to a Titanic theme park, let them. You don't have to. jonone
  • Score: 6

12:31pm Fri 17 Jan 14

cliffwalker says...

Could we find a place in Hampshire for "The Tiananmen Square 1989 Experience".

Imagine being able to feel the rumble of the tanks as they bear down on you. Hear the thud of clubs on skulls and the zip of bullets through the air; see blood running in the gutters as tear gas wafts across the scene. Wonderful!
Could we find a place in Hampshire for "The Tiananmen Square 1989 Experience". Imagine being able to feel the rumble of the tanks as they bear down on you. Hear the thud of clubs on skulls and the zip of bullets through the air; see blood running in the gutters as tear gas wafts across the scene. Wonderful! cliffwalker
  • Score: 6

12:35pm Fri 17 Jan 14

wwozzer says...

Near, fwar, wherwever you waar I bewieve that the heart does go on...
Near, fwar, wherwever you waar I bewieve that the heart does go on... wwozzer
  • Score: 1

12:56pm Fri 17 Jan 14

The Grinch says...

There are undoubted similarilities with this idea to computer games that are based, even loosely, on specific wars or battles - where people are 'enjoying' the experience of tragic events and others are profiting out of it.

Is this much different to be honest?
There are undoubted similarilities with this idea to computer games that are based, even loosely, on specific wars or battles - where people are 'enjoying' the experience of tragic events and others are profiting out of it. Is this much different to be honest? The Grinch
  • Score: 6

1:22pm Fri 17 Jan 14

03alpe01 says...

Do Southampton City Councillors get free entry?
Do Southampton City Councillors get free entry? 03alpe01
  • Score: 6

1:26pm Fri 17 Jan 14

LadySam says...

Poor taste but would you expect anything else from China? They seem exceptionally devoid of empathy towards people or animals.
Poor taste but would you expect anything else from China? They seem exceptionally devoid of empathy towards people or animals. LadySam
  • Score: 5

1:27pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Barney123 says...

Get over it! Third parties made enough out of the various films, from which many people got a lot of entertainment and enjoyment from...

I can remember the 'Titanic Offshore Lodge' in Lilongwe, Malawi - guess they should complain about that as well....
Get over it! Third parties made enough out of the various films, from which many people got a lot of entertainment and enjoyment from... I can remember the 'Titanic Offshore Lodge' in Lilongwe, Malawi - guess they should complain about that as well.... Barney123
  • Score: 6

1:32pm Fri 17 Jan 14

landt2013 says...

I was working in China for the 100th anniversary of the sinking, and for everyone of the people I met who had heard of Titanic, they thought it was a film with Leonardo di Caprio. They had no idea there was a real ship that sank. So I'd guess that instead of cashing in on a tragedy, the people behind this venture are cashing in on a 1997 film.
I was working in China for the 100th anniversary of the sinking, and for everyone of the people I met who had heard of Titanic, they thought it was a film with Leonardo di Caprio. They had no idea there was a real ship that sank. So I'd guess that instead of cashing in on a tragedy, the people behind this venture are cashing in on a 1997 film. landt2013
  • Score: 4

1:57pm Fri 17 Jan 14

elvisimo says...

about as tasteful as "titanic the musical"
about as tasteful as "titanic the musical" elvisimo
  • Score: 0

2:18pm Fri 17 Jan 14

loosehead says...

Bob Barnes wrote:
I must say i agree with your comments as some of yo may know i live in Thailand & the majority of the larger stores are owned by the Chinese they have money they manipulate, they rule there neighbours , most the Thais hate them like parasites , this idea should never happen what the fkk has the Titanic got to do with them, zilch? Just another money making thing that they can make more, believe me, some comments I have seen about the Chinese buying SFC would be a disaster & asset stripping when they have made there dosh, prior to my leavin the U/k it was suggested that that this theme would be in Soton the rightfull place what happened? .
Excuse some of my spelling.
Rgds to all
Bob
where in Thailand?
I have a house in Banglamung Pattaya
[quote][p][bold]Bob Barnes[/bold] wrote: I must say i agree with your comments as some of yo may know i live in Thailand & the majority of the larger stores are owned by the Chinese they have money they manipulate, they rule there neighbours , most the Thais hate them like parasites , this idea should never happen what the fkk has the Titanic got to do with them, zilch? Just another money making thing that they can make more, believe me, some comments I have seen about the Chinese buying SFC would be a disaster & asset stripping when they have made there dosh, prior to my leavin the U/k it was suggested that that this theme would be in Soton the rightfull place what happened? . Excuse some of my spelling. Rgds to all Bob[/p][/quote]where in Thailand? I have a house in Banglamung Pattaya loosehead
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Fri 17 Jan 14

arizonan says...

Check out to-days Liverpool Echo story re. The Signature Living Hotel-Home of the Titanic.
The renowned Titanic historian, Paul Louden Smith, donates a replica White Star Line flag to be flown from the first floor balcony, where news of the sinking was announced, of the soon to be opened hotel.
Check out to-days Liverpool Echo story re. The Signature Living Hotel-Home of the Titanic. The renowned Titanic historian, Paul Louden Smith, donates a replica White Star Line flag to be flown from the first floor balcony, where news of the sinking was announced, of the soon to be opened hotel. arizonan
  • Score: 1

4:00pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Lockssmart says...

03alpe01 wrote:
Do Southampton City Councillors get free entry?
Do I get free entry into a Southampton Councillor?
[quote][p][bold]03alpe01[/bold] wrote: Do Southampton City Councillors get free entry?[/p][/quote]Do I get free entry into a Southampton Councillor? Lockssmart
  • Score: 1

4:18pm Fri 17 Jan 14

redsnapper says...

Why not ask why the dull councillors at SCC have not delivered on a Titanic "attraction" in our city or are they so focussed on destroying the city by doing nothing like Rayment and her transport shambles.
Why not ask why the dull councillors at SCC have not delivered on a Titanic "attraction" in our city or are they so focussed on destroying the city by doing nothing like Rayment and her transport shambles. redsnapper
  • Score: -1

4:59pm Fri 17 Jan 14

loosehead says...

jonone wrote:
"next they're be a theme park based on the London Blitz built"

What, like the Britain at War experience that used to be on Tooley Street in London which supposedly created a living experience of an event which killed a large number of people. You were all foaming with indignation when that opened then?

If people want to go to a Titanic theme park, let them. You don't have to.
London? yes isn't that where the London Blitz took place?
Did the Titanic set sail fro0m China? how would it have sailed from a land locked province of China? Was it sailing to China?
Was it built in China or Belfast? What ports name did it have on it? what port did it set sail from?
Belfast,Liverpool & Southampton all have a legitimate claim to honour & remember the Titanic & all those that lost their lives on board that ship but China?
Yes I believe exhibitions in museums showing the folly of believing the ship was unsinkable & remembering the dead is a good thing but a joke theme park in a country with no connection to the ship or the fateful event NO I don't agree with it
[quote][p][bold]jonone[/bold] wrote: "next they're be a theme park based on the London Blitz built" What, like the Britain at War experience that used to be on Tooley Street in London which supposedly created a living experience of an event which killed a large number of people. You were all foaming with indignation when that opened then? If people want to go to a Titanic theme park, let them. You don't have to.[/p][/quote]London? yes isn't that where the London Blitz took place? Did the Titanic set sail fro0m China? how would it have sailed from a land locked province of China? Was it sailing to China? Was it built in China or Belfast? What ports name did it have on it? what port did it set sail from? Belfast,Liverpool & Southampton all have a legitimate claim to honour & remember the Titanic & all those that lost their lives on board that ship but China? Yes I believe exhibitions in museums showing the folly of believing the ship was unsinkable & remembering the dead is a good thing but a joke theme park in a country with no connection to the ship or the fateful event NO I don't agree with it loosehead
  • Score: 1

5:22pm Fri 17 Jan 14

klappdrachen says...

I don't understand why so many people are getting so indignant about the Chinese opening a theme park about 'our' ship.
Did these people get het up about 'our' team being bought by a German born Swiss, or the same team having an Italian chairman? Or an Argentinian manager?
In the modern capitalist world anything is fair game to some people, if they see a profit in it. Money moves around the world as freely as ideas.
On a personal note the whole Titanic thing bores me rigid, it was a complete fiasco and showed that we British could still absurdly enforce class differences even in the face of death!
I don't understand why so many people are getting so indignant about the Chinese opening a theme park about 'our' ship. Did these people get het up about 'our' team being bought by a German born Swiss, or the same team having an Italian chairman? Or an Argentinian manager? In the modern capitalist world anything is fair game to some people, if they see a profit in it. Money moves around the world as freely as ideas. On a personal note the whole Titanic thing bores me rigid, it was a complete fiasco and showed that we British could still absurdly enforce class differences even in the face of death! klappdrachen
  • Score: 2

5:40pm Fri 17 Jan 14

IOAD says...

Feel my affected rage and simulated anger!
Feel my affected rage and simulated anger! IOAD
  • Score: -1

6:15pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Newforest says...

Branson MO and Pigeon Forge TN both have half size 'Titanics' which tell the story and allow visitors to experience life aboard the ship. I have visited Branson (where a girl from Shirley works as a guide) and consider this to be a tasteful and informative tribute to the tragedy. The Chinese rip-off would seem to be a step or several steps too far.
Branson MO and Pigeon Forge TN both have half size 'Titanics' which tell the story and allow visitors to experience life aboard the ship. I have visited Branson (where a girl from Shirley works as a guide) and consider this to be a tasteful and informative tribute to the tragedy. The Chinese rip-off would seem to be a step or several steps too far. Newforest
  • Score: 0

1:23am Sat 18 Jan 14

mrblunt says...

Has Southampton missed another opportunity to promote the City. Have they not got a museum dedicated to this event which has been usurped by Belfast. Whilst the Councillors of Southampton stir their sticks in little pools cracking at each other, the rest of the World has moved on and left them in the backwater
Has Southampton missed another opportunity to promote the City. Have they not got a museum dedicated to this event which has been usurped by Belfast. Whilst the Councillors of Southampton stir their sticks in little pools cracking at each other, the rest of the World has moved on and left them in the backwater mrblunt
  • Score: 0

3:22pm Sat 18 Jan 14

enquiries@titanichedritagetrust.org.uk says...

Yet again more bad taste in a Titanic commercial venture and a lack of respect for all those whose lives have been touched by Titanic and have since been lost to us. Including the memory of the BTS's own Steve Rigby.
A centre displaying Titanic's heritage is fine but this idea should be put into Room 101 along with the Red Bull commercial. The number of survivors who were so traumatised after the disaster that they could not talk about it, one in particular his hair turned completely white within six months. I wouldn’t like to inflict that experience on anyone.
Howard Nelson ~ Founder Titanic Heritage Trust
Yet again more bad taste in a Titanic commercial venture and a lack of respect for all those whose lives have been touched by Titanic and have since been lost to us. Including the memory of the BTS's own Steve Rigby. A centre displaying Titanic's heritage is fine but this idea should be put into Room 101 along with the Red Bull commercial. The number of survivors who were so traumatised after the disaster that they could not talk about it, one in particular his hair turned completely white within six months. I wouldn’t like to inflict that experience on anyone. Howard Nelson ~ Founder Titanic Heritage Trust enquiries@titanichedritagetrust.org.uk
  • Score: 0

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