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The sad story of Pirou-Plage Ghost Village

2 min read

We are in France, Normandy, in the resort of Pirou-Plage which remained a half-built ghost town, until its colorful houses were discovered by squatters and ravers in the 2000s.
The French village, born of a financial fiasco in the 1990s, so has taken on a new identity, becoming a hub for artists and filmmakers and becoming an art project open to all.
This piece of land is situated a couple hundred meters from the beach, behind a nice natural dune, and the original plan was to turn it into an ambitious holiday village. The site was called “Aquatour”, with 75 houses, a hotel-club, and two tennis courts, in a small lovely seaside town that counts only 1,500 year-round inhabitants.

The promoter was a convincing salesman: he quickly sold all the houses (on paper, of course). But no plans were made for water, electricity or draining. So, by April 1992, 25 houses were already up when the building work suddenly stopped. The contractors were not paid anymore, and the stubborn promoter had vanished with its investor’s money. At the end, Pirou-Plage would never became a holiday village.

The new houses were plundered, and of course, everything that could easily be taken away disappeared. Doors, windows, and roof tiles, and the ghost houses then became homes for squatters and ravers. The ambitious project quickly became a sort of seasonal ghost village, open to whoever wanted to come, without barriers or limitations.

However, since 2000s, Pirou-Plage’s story took another interesting twist when it started to attract various kind of artists, from street artists to painters, photographers, and filmmakers which adopted the abandoned resort, and for the first time its houses were lively. In 2014, some Pirou inhabitants were featured in projects led by the famous French photographer and street artist JR, and filmmaker Agnès Varda.
Of course, word of mouth and media coverage spread the news, and Pirou-Plage soon became a cool place to go. But unfortunately, not for long. Recently, about two years ago, local authorities made plans to bring in bulldozers for demolish the resort’s graffiti-covered structures. and unfortunately it’s all true. The demolitions started right in 2016, and now there should be nothing left. (Source)

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