Saturday, October 1, 2011

Spain's "Smurf Village" Becomes Tourist Sensation

Daily Mail: A Spanish village painted bright blue for the launch of the movie The Smurfs is set to ask residents in a referendum if they want to keep the change, after its has become an unexpected tourism hit.

The producers of the animated film picked the tiny village of Juzcar, near Malaga, as a publicity stunt and painted every building blue ahead of its release. Even the local church took on an azure hue as part of the spectacle.

So many tourists have started flocking to the blue village as a result of the stunt, the town hall has had to draft in extra police to help control the traffic. A smurf fair set up in the village square is booming and residents have even taken to dressing up as giant smurfs and posing for pictures with visitors.

Even the church has reported that its collections are up.

After pressure from locals, Mayor David Fernandez has now announced a referendum later in the year about whether to keep the village blue. He joked: 'People have started calling me Papa Smurf.'

The ancient village, thought to have existed even before the Moorish invasion in 711 AD, was a traditional pueblo blanco, or white village, until its makeover. It took a dozen painters 1,000 gallons of paint to transform Juzcar into a place that the Smurfs would feel at home in.

Sony promised it would restore the town's buildings to their brilliant white after the premier party in July, but it seems that may not be necessary after all.

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