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Sunken treasures up for grabs

Published time: February 03, 2012 10:07
Edited time: February 03, 2012 14:08
The Costa Concordia lying aground in front of the Isola del Giglio (Giglio island) (Filippo Monteforte)

The Costa Concordia lying aground in front of the Isola del Giglio (Giglio island) (Filippo Monteforte)

Up to six thousand art objects are estimated to be on board of the sunken Costa Concordia luxury liner, including jewels and antiques.

­Among the most sought-after items are 19th Century Bohemian crystal glassware and a selection of 18th Century woodblock prints by a Japanese master Katsushika Hokusai.

The cruise ship which carried over 4,200 passengers was a floating luxury hotel, with all the amenities and shops stocked with jewellery.

It is feared treasure seekers will venture to the wreck as soon as the weather improves.  The authorities have set up an one mile exclusion zone around the wreck while recovery work continues.   

According to the Italian Civil Protection agency, there is so much activity around the site there is no risk of looting. However, it plans to remove the wreckage before looters can get hold of it.

The Costa Concordia cruise ship which capsized off the Tuscan coast will take up to 10 months to remove, Italian officials say. The operation to remove 1.8 million litres of fuel as well as the search for people still missing was suspended due to rough seas.

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