The great hunk of reef that gashed the belly of the Costa Concordia cruise ship was turned over to the island town of Isola del Giglio on Friday.
For months the 100-ton rock fragment sat visible in the lurching shipwreck, which on the night of January 13 left 32 dead off the coast of Tuscany in one of Italy's worst maritime disasters since the Second World War. In July, salvage teams split the rock into three parts, removed the sections and deposited them temporarily on the sandy seabed near the Giglio port.
A Grosseto judge approved a request presented by Isola del Giglio's public attorney, Alessandro Maria Lecci, to release a section of the rock for use on the island, which may be used in a memorial for shipwreck victims. Overall removal operations, which involve re-floating the giant liner, are expected to take up to a year to complete.