Modena, Italy - (Ass Mess): Italian Forestry Commission officials have voiced their eco-hazard fears amid reports that an entire Northern Italy plantation of Sequoiadendron giganteum had to be felled to accommodate the remains of fabled operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti who died at his Modena home yesterday.
The 35 stone virtuoso singer's coffin has now been assembled and will be lifted by crane into a specially-reinforced titanium and tungsten armoured truck before the final journey to Modena Cathedral tomorrow.
"Luckily the church foundations are well-anchored into a huge granite bedrock that should take the weight without any trouble," said a spokesman for the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone who will officiate on behalf of Pope Ratzinger.
After a full Requiem Mass the coffin will be taken to a secret location outside the city where a crematorium large enough to handle the payload is being prepared for the singer.
After that a C-5-c Galaxy USAF cargo plane will be chartered to take Pavarotti's ashes to their final resting place over Mount Etna.
The entire spectacle will be available on satellite TV.