Religious and other ceremonies will be held in Italy and countries around the world Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the Costa Concordia disaster in which 32 passengers and crew members died.
But in a letter, ship owner Costa Crociere advised survivors not to attend those on the tiny island of Giglio near the shipwreck site because of logistical challenges of getting to and from the island, according to AFP.
The letter angered some French survivors who say they plan to attend anyway, according to the AFP story. The missive reads in part: "We are certain that you will understand the impossibility -- for logistical reasons -- of welcoming you all onto the island that day, and the desire for privacy expressed by the families of the victims at such a difficult moment."
A special Mass and ceremonies throughout Sunday are planned on Giglio to honor the victims and thank emergency workers for helping more than 4,200 people who fled the ship when it listed and began to sink. Also, a bronze plaque in memory of the victims and the island's role in the disaster will be unveiled too.
Besides the Giglio ceremonies, Costa will hold a Mass in Genoa, where its home office is, and planned ceremonies elsewhere "as a mark of respect for our different religions of Costa employees," a company statement said.
There will be a Hindu ceremony in Mumbai, India, and Bali; a Muslim ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Bali; a Buddhist ceremony in Shanghai; and a Catholic Mass in Goa, India, Jakarta, Manila and Lima, Peru. Also, Costa ships will fly flags at half mast and hold a shipboard Mass in memory of the victims followed by a moment of silence.
Francesco Schettino, the captain who is accused of veering to close to the island and causing the ship to capsize, and eight others are under criminal investigation in ongoing legal proceedings related to the wreck.