Saturday, 30 June 2018

Le Puy du Fou - La Pérouse sails again...




The new La Pérouse attraction opened at Le Puy du Fou theme park in April.  The most impressive and widely cited fact about it is the tremendous cost of construction - a cool 10 million euros.  This has mostly gone into recreating a state-of-the-art computer-controlled mock-up of La Boussole, tossing to destruction on the stormy seas of the South Pacific.



Fork with Monti arms, Coll. La Pérouse
The story behind the new attraction is provided by the presence near the Park of the château du Fief-Milon at Boupère, the birthplace of another forgotten member of the expedition, the captain of the Boussole, Anne-Georges-Augustin de Monti.  In 2002 Alan Conan visited Monti's decendants to show them a silver fork recovered from the wreck off Vanikoro which featured the Monti coat-of-arms. Aymar de Monti, a member of the Association du Puy du Fou, recounted the story to Philippe and Nicolas de Villiers. An emblazoned plate  forms the fils rouge running through the attraction.


Visitors are taken through the various phases of the voyage [see the press release for details].  The attraction occupies about 15-20 minutes.  There are now several videos on Youtube, though the experience is quite hard to film due to the semi-darkness and the simulated rolling of the ship.  I must admit I have been spoilt by Disneyland and was expecting a ride or even a little boat to go on: at Le Puy du Fou you have to walk.  That said,  the effects are impressive and the visit is enlivened by the fact there are live actors to take the parts of the crew.



This post probably ought to have some suitably disparaging comments on the limits of re-enactment or the distortion of the past represented by history as mass entertainment.  It is certainly a shame that so much money was lavished on this extravaganza when the little La Pérouse museum in Albi  has such a financial struggle.  However, I am not going to complain too much.  At least La Pérouse is remembered and people are encouraged to imagine life on an 18th-century ship; Le Puy du Fou will turn a huge profit and everyone will have great fun!



References

Puy du Foi 2018 Press release in English

https://www.puydufou.com/sites/default/files/Puy%20du%20Fou%20-%20Get%20to%20the%20heart%20of%20the%20action%20in%20our%202018%20season%21.pdf

Making-of "Le Mystère de La Pérouse", Official video from Le Puy de Fou, 24.05.2018.
https://youtu.be/O3CRhIuOn0Y

"Le Puy du Fou - Le Mystère de La Pérouse",  Youtube video from Le Reporter sablais. Published 01.04.2018
Nicolas de Villiers, President of Le Puy du Fou and Laurent Albert,  Director General of the Park, present the project in its final stages. 

Laurent Albert  and Nicolas de Villiers inside the attraction
"Reconstitution d'une histoire vraie"  La Nouvelle Republique, 03/04/2018
https://www.lanouvellerepublique.fr/deux-sevres/reconstitution-d-une-histoire-vraie

Nice set of photos of the interiors: 
 "Nouveauté 2018 au PUY DU FOU " Le Mystère de La Pérouse" Le Coeur vendéen, post of 08.04.2018
http://nunus63.canalblog.com/archives/2018/04/08/36303866.html