Doesn't he just seem to be saying: "Allons enfants de la Patrie, this way to the gift shop"?
H/T to GWB for pointing out to me this fascinating historical / commercial proposal from France.
A former French minister and history buff named Yves Jégo is proposing to build a Napoleonland theme park as a showcase for Napoleon's greatest victories and to compete with Disneyland Paris.
The park would go on the site of the Battle of Montereau, about 70 miles - oops, I mean, 112 kilometers - south of Paris. Montreau, BTW, was a great victory for the French but a relatively small action by the bloody standards of the Napoleonic Age, since fewer than 9,000 were killed there on all sides.
The theme park will reportedly have a museum, a hotel, shops, restaurants, battle reenactments, and Napoleon-themed attractions. If it is to compete with Disneyland Paris, you know they'll also have to have fun stuff for the kids, like rides. And if the developers have any sense at all, they'll put up signs in front of the roller coasters and log flumes saying You Must Be This Short → To Ride, because a little easygoing self-deprecating humor would help to release the tension caused by, well, the whole Napoleon Complex thing.
Meanwhile, the kids' parents could kick back with a couple Whiff of Grapeshot Wine Coolers. I see great commercial possibilities here.
But, I get creeped out by this part:
Other curious potential attractions include a ski run through a battlefield "surrounded by the frozen bodies of soldiers and horses" and a recreation of Louis XVI being guillotined during the revolution – the precursor to Napoleon’s rise to power.
"It's going to be fun for the family,” [Yves Jégo] told the Times.Napoleon's retreat from Moscow must be the inspiration for that "curious" - not to say macabre - ski run. I'm sure it will be much more fun for the tourists than it was for Napoleon's Grande Armée. They were half a million troops strong when they invaded Russia in August of 1812, but only 27,000 of them came back out the following December.
Something about this whole idea is just wrong. Napoleonic warfare isn't suitable for a theme park treatment. The developers ought to repackage the whole deal into a battlefield preservation project, which would also have potential for economic development, but without the cringe-inducing factor of frozen corpses and such.
Yves Jégo should look at how the U.S. government promotes heritage tourism as an example of how he could combine economic development with French history.