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Ex-Yugo autocratic leader’s iconic yacht given new life

RIJEKA, Croatia (AP) – Against all odds, the iconic yacht that once belonged to the late Yugoslav strongman Josip Broz Tito has been given a new lease on life.

Rust covers its hull. The furniture is broken in its once luxurious salons. The ship sank twice since being launched in 1938 and it was destined for a junkyard.

But now it will be turned into a floating museum.

In its heyday, it hosted Hollywood celebrities and world leaders and took Tito up the River Thames in England for a historic meeting with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

The ship, called Galeb (pronounced gah-LEHB), or Seagull, is moored at the Croatian Adriatic port of Rijeka (pronounced REE-kah). Authorities there will refurbish it in a 5.4 million euro ($6.4 million) project that will start in 2019.

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