(Der Spiegel) The most spectacular salvage operation in shipping history is set to begin next week. Though all the pieces are now in place, the question remains whether the doomed Costa Concordia can be righted, or whether she will break apart in the process.

Franco Porcellacchia says the Costa Concordia was a challenge to build. The chief construction engineer still enthuses about the cruise liner’s opulent features, including the “macro dome,” a 50-meter (165-foot) sliding roof over the upper deck. “The ship was considered extremely innovative at the time,” he says.

But the Costa Concordia didn’t sail for long. On the night of January 13, 2012, barely six-and-a-half years after she was launched, Captain Francesco Schettino drove her into a rock off the Italian island of Giglio, then abandoned the sinking ship, cementing his legacy as the worst captain in cruise-line history.

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