Plans to create an £85 million tourist attraction dubbed ‘D-Day Land’ depicting the Normandy landings in northern France have sparked outrage. Critics warn that it should not be “allowed to become Disneyland”.
Hervé Morin, head of the Normandy regional council, said he wanted to create a permanent site to mark the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944 in time for the 80th anniversary in 2024.
“All that’s left is to find building land, not on the D-Day beaches themselves, but very close to Juno, Omaha or Utah,” said Morin (via Mail Online).
Morin also said that private investment will fund the €100 million (£85m) project, and that a Hollywood director would help choreograph a permanent show.
‘D-Day Land’ may emulate Puy du Fou theme park
The tourist destination would reportedly feature battle re-enactments, cinemas, sound and light shows, and more attractions.
However, opponents have spoken out, saying an attraction would be insulting to those killed and wounded on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy.
More than 21,000 people have signed a petition, which nicknames the attraction ‘D-Day Land’, warning that it could could “seriously harm the ecology of the area but also lacks respect for the veterans and the people killed during the Normandy landings and the battle that followed” (via The Telegraph).
‘Lacks respect for veterans and people killed’
“The Normandy landings is a page in the history of France that must be respected and not give way to a section of local business that will only serve to destroy the work done for years by remembrance associations but also lovers of this page of history,” it reads.
Olivier Paz, mayor of Merville-Franceville, told local paper Ouest France that the destination must not be “allowed to become Disneyland”.
Approximately five million tourists visit Normandy every year to view the historical sites, beaches, cemeteries, monuments and museums.