A dictatorship reforms:
Bahrain is aiming to reignite its tourism sector after months of civil unrest by building a US$5m theme park based on The Smurfs, the popular Belgian children’s cartoon centred around a group of small blue fictional creatures, it was reported at the weekend.
...The development will include 30 Smurf houses measuring around 50 sqm and which can accommodate up to 20 children each.
In addition, the report said there will also be a 250 sqm Papa Smurf house and a 220 sqm castle, which will home to the Smurf’s nemesis Gargamel. Plans will also include a café, aquarium, stables and a souvenir shop.
This sounds like the kind of weird, flaky econ.dev. project a regime under pressure goes in for. When it fails due to further unrest, the facilities are used as a detention centre and at night noises can be heard coming from Papa Smurf's house. Eventually, the place features in Amnesty reports and first person testimonials by broken men and women. This is put to the people responsible for the Smurf brand, who smile thinly and shift about in their chairs.