Sale of royal yacht should fund new maritime museum in Palma

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The debate over what to do with the former luxury yacht of the Spanish king, which he gave up in May continues, with the Balearic government backing a proposal made by the local opposition parties that the yacht be sold and the money raised used to help the needy and socially marginalized in the Balearics. But, a Balearic business group has demanded King Juan Carlos returns the 21 million euro yacht they gave him, following he asked the government to take of his hand as the country weathers a bitting recession. (Each refueling of the yacht costs more than 20,000 euros). The Balearic Tourism and Cultural Foundation sent a letter in late May to the National Heritage Department, which manages state assets used by the royals, to ask that it returns the 41.5 metre yacht named ‘Fortuna’, which, with nearly three million euros of public funds donated by the then Partido Popular-run local government the gave the king in the year 2000. Senior sources in the Balearic nautical industry said they had written to the Foundation suggesting that the money raised from the sale of the former yacht be used to build a maritime museum in Palma. “The museum  has been planned for years and with so many historic Balearic vessels having been restored by the various local authorities over the years and all the old yachts hidden away under Bellver Castle – these vessels need a home where they can be seen and enjoyed by the general public”  the local paper, the ‘Majorca Daily Bulletin’ was told. Most of the classic Majorcan yachts , which have been restored by the Council of Mallorca and others, are now just moored up doing nothing, so why not sell the royal yacht and invest that money into a maritime museum which will generate money and help diversify tourism to Palma and Mallorca.

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