costa concordia
The cruise liner Costa Concordia is seen outside Giglio harbour as Captain Francesco Schettino prepares to return to the island for the first time since the shipwreck of his cruise liner in 2012 in which 32 people diedReuters

Captain Francesco Schettino has been allowed back on board the Costa Concordia, more than two years after it ran aground off an Italian island.

The ship, with more than 4,000 people on board, ran aground in January 2012, killing at least 32 people. The 290-metre luxury liner, twice the size of the Titanic, has remained half-submerged since.

In this gallery, IBTimesUK tells the story of the disaster through 20 powerful photos.

14 January 2012: Passengers line up on the side of the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia and move down along the side of the vessel during the evacuation operation in this still image taken from videoReuters//Guardia Costiera
20120114 rescued
14 January 2012: Passengers arrive at Porto Santo Stefano after the Costa Concordia ran aground overnight, took on water and tipped overReuters
20120115 korean
15 January 2012: A South Korean man is rescued from the Costa ConcordiaReuters
20120116 diver
16 January 2012: An Italian Coast guard diver searches for missing passengers inside the Costa ConcordiaReuters//Guardia Costiera
20120117 enter
17 January 2012: Scuba divers enter the Costa Concordia cruise ship through a broken windowReuters//Centro subacquei dei Carabinieri
20120119 ships bell
19 January 2012: Scuba divers swim around the ship's bell as they inspect the shipwreckReuters//Centro subacquei dei Carabinieri
20120123 chopper
23 January 2012: A firefighter hangs from a helicopter over the stricken liner. Divers found two more dead bodies on deck number four of the Costa ConcordiaReuters
20120123 interior
23 January 2012: Two Italian Navy scuba divers inspect the interior of the Costa ConcordiaReuters/Marina Militare
20120126 funnel
26 January 2012: Firefighters stand next to a lighthouse near the Costa Concordia cruise ship which ran aground off Giglio islandReuters
20120128 pool
28 January 2012: Divers in an inflatable boat motor past the slide and pool area of the cruise linerReuters
20120223 rock bodies
23 February 2012: Firefighters stand on top of the Costa Concordia during operations to bring up four bodies from the wreckReuters
20120223 helicopter
23 February 2012: The body of a victim, retrieved from the wrecked cruise ship, is lifted by a helicopterReuters
20130113 anniversary
13 January 2013: Relatives of victims cry during a ceremony to commemorate the first anniversary of the Costa Concordia shipwreck, in which 32 people diedReuters
20130826 aerial
26 August 2013: An aerial view shows the Costa Concordia during preparations for an operation in which the ship would be rolled off the seabed and onto underwater platformsReuters
20130915 lightning
15 September 2013: A lightning storm is pictured over the sea near the capsized cruise liner the day before an operation to lift it off the seabedReuters
20130916 before
16 September 2013: The capsized cruise liner is pictured at the start of an operation to raise the wreckReuters
20130917 after
17 September 2013: The Costa Concordia is seen at the end of the 19-hour-long "parbuckling" operation to raise the wreckReuters
20140111 rusted
11 January 2014: Two years after the tragedy, the rusted wreck still lies of the coast of Giglio. Thirty massive tanks filled with air will lift the hulk of the Costa Concordia off the seabed in June so it can be towed awayReuters
20140212 cabins
12 January 2014: A seagull flies past once luxurious cabins. Refloating the Concordia will be one more phase in the largest maritime salvage in historyReuters