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Costa Concordia cruise liner begins journey to the scapyard

The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner has begun its journey to the scrapyard.

Costa Concordia cruise liner begins journey to the scapyard

A two-year salvage operation finally saw the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner began its journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday off the Italian island where it capsized two years ago, killing 32 people.

Boats sounded horns and church bells rang as a tug boat slowly pulled the wreck of the liner, which was around two-and-a half times the size of the Titanic, away from the island of Giglio, accompanied by a convoy of 14 vessels.

Salvage workers gathered in bars at the port, drinking beer and smoking huge cigars, to celebrate after completing one of the largest maritime salvage operations in history.

The 114,500-tonne wreck is due to arrive at a port near Genoa in northern Italy on Sunday, before being broken up for scrap.

The once-gleaming white luxury liner sank off the holiday island of Giglio in January 2012 after sailing too close to shore.