Monday, February 20, 2006

 

£9m aircraft carrier for sale at theme park

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Telegraph
By Richard Spencer
February 18, 2006



Super toys: Once the flagship of the Soviet Union's Pacific fleet, the aircraft
carrier Minsk was reborn as a military theme park in Shenzhen. SCMP photo.


The financial collapse of a Chinese theme park has left its owners with an unusual piece of surplus equipment - a fully-fitted Russian aircraft carrier.

The Minsk, a 1970s relic of the Soviet Union's Pacific fleet, was until recently the pride and joy of Shenzhen, the boom town near Hong Kong that has become the symbol of China's breakneck economic development.

As well as having some of its torpedoes and MiG-23 fighter aircraft on display, the ship also boasted Chinese guides in Soviet-style military uniforms and a Russian dance troupe.

But the firm that has operated it since 2000, Minsk World Industries Company, was declared bankrupt last year in a Shenzhen court.

According to the official Shanghai Daily, the court has now ordered the ship to be sold at auction next month, with bids to start at 128 million yuan (£9 million).

Theme parks were one of the big ideas of the nineties in China, as its economic reforms created a new middle class with time and money to pursue leisure pursuits.


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