Clearing of Costa Concordia wreck goes slowly

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One year after the luxury liner Costa Concordia ran aground off Italy's Tuscan coast, taking 32 lives, its wreck, a mountain of metal enclosed by floating salvage platforms, is creating an incongruous industrial landscape amid the pristine waters of a marine sanctuary.

On Saturday, salvage companies said at a press conference that the ship could be removed by the end of the summer, a few months behind schedule, but they made it clear that setting an exact date would be “both misleading and unrealistic,” according to a report by The New York Times.

Life on the island, with a population of 1,500, has been defined by the wreck off its coastline and not just because of the 30 to 35 percent drop in tourism last summer, which many blame both on the Costa Concordia and on Italy’s economic crisis.

“I used to wake up in the morning and guess the winds from the way trees moved on those rocks,” said Giuseppina Ferraro, 66, whose apartment windows overlook the ship. “Now, at any time of day and night, all you see are drilling chimneys, barracks and that haunting wreck. We wake up with the noise of the energy generators and can even switch off the lights at night because you can see clearly, thanks to the lighting system of the platforms.”

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