New Yorkers, don't be surprised if you see an oar-powered Athenian
Warship triumphantly chugging around the Statue of Liberty on July 4th,
2012. If one determined group of trireme fans get their way, they'll
transport a full-scale replica of the ship from Greece, refurbish it, and
row it around in the city's harbor. They've already got the go-ahead from the
Greek government. And they promise you: it will look nothing like Ben Hur.
In a profile for the Wall Street Journal's Page 1, Sophia Hollander
details the "epic struggle" of these history buffs as they seek to
raise $3 million dollars in funding, debate the finer points of the
actual ancient design of the ship, and refurbish the once sea-worthy trireme replica, Olympias. The boat originally sailed in sea trials
between 1987 and 1994, but now sits in a naval museum in Athens.
One day soon, they hope, the vessel will be freed and
seaworthy in time for a fateful Statue of Liberty visit. After
refurbishing, of course, they'll need to recruit a crew. "Ideally you
would get 170 fitness fanatics," remarked Trireme proponent Charles
Hirschler to the WSJ. "I look at [the ship] as a human-powered,
waterborne missile that can operate like a jet boat."
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