Puerto Rico dismantles sculpture that prevented cruise ship from docking last year

Monday, October 4, 2010

PR dismantles sculpture to accommodate cruises

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Crews have begun to demolish a big steel sculpture that had been the object of ridicule when it blocked a new cruise ship from docking in the U.S. Caribbean territory last year.

Explosives were placed at the corners of the sculpture, which looks like a giant paper airplane propped up by gray legs. It was designed and paid for in part by Royal Caribbean and installed in 2006 as part of a $30 million project to build a new port in Old San Juan.

The sculpture will be dismantled to make room for bigger cruise ships, said Port Authority spokeswoman Blanca Saez.

On Saturday, crews struggled to remove the tension cables because some of the explosives did not detonate on the first try. In upcoming days, they will pull apart the steel rods and cut the sculpture into pieces to remove it, she said.

In December, tourism officials were forced to delay and move a news conference they had planned to hold aboard the Carnival Dream when they realized it could not dock because of the sculpture’s size.

The cruise ship sailed on to the Turks and Caicos Islands because a nearby dock that could have accommodated the Carnival Cruise Line’s ship was occupied.

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