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April 4, 1912: The Titanic leaves Southampton, England, on her ill-fated first voyage. (AFP/Getty Images)

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

Apr 30, 2012

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

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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.

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.)
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