SHENZHEN, March. 22 (Xinhua) -- The auction of the
retired ex-Soviet aircraft carrier Minsk ended in an anti-climax on Wednesday
after it failed to attract its starting price in Shenzhen, a booming city in
South China's Guangdong Province.
All three potential buyers said the starting price of 128 million yuan (16 million U.S. dollars)
was too much and the auction ended soon after the auctioneer offered the price
The decades-old aircraft carrier, which was later
converted into a floating theme park in Shenzhen, was offered up for sale to pay
off the debts of its bankrupted owner Minsk World Industries Co. Ltd.
Minsk theme park was evaluated to be worth 160
million yuan (20 million U. S. dollars) and a new round of auctioning will be
held soon, according to the Guangdong-based Xuda auctioneers, which has been
commissioned to handle the sale of the ship.
Built in 1972 and put into service six years later,
Minsk was retired in the early 1990s and sold to a firm in the Republic of Korea
in 1995 for scrap before it went to a Chinese company.
After 16 months' of costly renovations, the ship was
turned into a military-themed entertainment world with a wide range of
businesses including restaurants, beauty salons, cultural shows and trading, in
addition to the main attraction of the tours to the famous aircraft carrier.
However, Minsk World Industries Co. Ltd. failed to
pay off mature debts to its Chinese bank creditors due to rapidly accumulated
loan interest and was declared bankrupt by a local court in February last year.
Despite the company's collapse, the theme park stayed
in business and drew 33,000 visitors in just seven days during the Lunar New
It is not only a unique military theme park in China,
but also has become a symbolic tourist attraction. Tourists have expressed their
hope that the ship will continue to stay in Shenzhen after the auction. Enditem