The Greek holiday island of Rhodes may be in for a new visitor attraction in an ambitious plan to rebuild the Colossus of Rhodes.
UK civil engineers are involved in the scheme to recreate the former Wonder of the Ancient World statue that once stood over the port of Rhodes.
The original 30-metre high bronze Colossus was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC.
Now engineers, architects and designers from the UK, Greece, Spain and Italy plan to build an even taller Colossus that they claim can boost holiday visitors and the island economy.
If it gets the go-ahead, the new Colossus will be 150-metre tall and feature a lighthouse, galleries, museums, a cultural centre, a library, restaurants and other visitor attractions.
A spokesman for the consortium behind the Colossus project said: "With our work, we try to put Rhodes again on the world map and to restore its historical importance as a cultural bridge for three continents, attracting huge quantities of visitors every year."
They claim the new Colossus of Rhodes can be built in three to four years at a cost of €240 – 260 million. International crowdfunding is being considered as an option to raise the cash.
It is estimated it could attract visitors by the tens of thousand, help extend the tourist season on Rhodes by several months and raise €35 million a year in income.
The original statue was erected in honour of the Greek god Titan in 280BC and was thought to stand on a podium in the centre of the harbour. Its ruins were thought to have laid in the water until Saracens pillaged the island in 654AD and removed, sold or destroyed the remaining relics.
Architects say the huge statue can be covered in solar panels to make it self-sufficient regarding energy. The team behind the ambitious project include: Greek architect Ari Palla; Greek archaeologist Christos Giannas; Spanish civil engineer Enrique Fernández Menendez,; Italian architect Ombretta Iannone; Spanish economist Matilda Palla and UK engineer Eral Dupi.
The mayor of Rhodes, Fotis Chatzidiakos, is backing the project which he believes will benefit Rhodes significantly, creating jobs, attracting tourists and placing Rhodes on the cultural map of the Mediterranean.