Times are tough in the eurozone these days. Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the French credit rating from AAA to AA+ based on uncertainty over the financial stability of EU members struggling under their massive debt.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is hanging on, but an upcoming election may result in a significant shift, especially if far right presidential contender and rival Marine Le Pen gets enough votes to take the reigns of power from Sarkozy.
So what has the country proposed to boost its economy and attract funds from around the world? A $278 million theme park. Yes, the country that begrudgingly hosts Disneyland Paris is pondering the possibility of a rival park just south of the capital and filled with thrilling attractions, rides, and fun.
No, the new park will not tap mega pop culture blockbusters like Harry Potter or even Twilight. Brainchild of Yves Jégo, a deputy from the Radical Party and mayor of Montereau, the park will instead be based on one of the most famous figures in French history: Napoleon Bonaparte. Popular in Russia and China, this iconic figure is drawing attention to “Napoleonland” from Russian and Middle Eastern investors who have show interest in the plan.
Rob Cooper of Mail Online writes:
The attraction is likely to be built on the site where Napoleon defeated the Austrians in 1814 at the Battle of Montereau [now Jégo's district ] just south of Paris.
If funding is secured for the…park it is expected to create 3,000 jobs and could ultimately emerge as a rival to Disneyland.
And The Huffington Post adds:
But the French seem poised to present an accurate version of history, with park attractions that show some of Napoleon’s most famous defeats in addition to his victories. These would include a daily recreation of the Battle of Waterloo — which might allow audience participation — and a water show re-enacting the Battle of Trafalgar.
The park complex is also expected to include a museum, a hotel, shops and restaurants. Other, more peculiar, proposed attractions would have guests ski around frozen corpses of horses and soldiers on a battlefield, and watch the beheading of Louis XVI, according to The Daily Mail.