According to wire service Ansa, a number of protrusions, including the mast and radar antennae, have now been removed from the ship, which ran aground on the night of January 13 with the loss of 32 passengers and crew. Costa Concordia’s distinctive yellow funnel is set to be removed next week.
At the same time, material for the installation of a steel support structure that will lie beneath the ship and prevent it sliding down the sloping face of the sea bottom as refloating work continues has also begun arriving at the site.
In the meantime, the Livorno city council is understood to have granted an exception to the newly introduced ‘anti-inchino’ law banning ships from moving too close to land to salute the locals. The exception, requested by the local coast guard, is aimed at creating a ‘navigational corridor’ for merchant ships calling the port.
The decision ran into criticism from environmental group Legambiente, with maritime spokesman Umberto Mazzantini incredulous that the new distance-limits have been trimmed in Livorno, which is not only the nearest major port to Giglio but ‘the destination of many ships loaded with dangerous cargoes.’
Legambiente, which has noted that this is not the first attempt by a port to dilute the law, has described the new decree as inadequate, since it omits large tracts of the Italian coastline, including many smaller islands.