This Europe: Russia drops Disney for biblical dancers

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Plans to build a £38m Bible theme park where visitors can eat meals from a Last Supper menu and watch temptresses dance in the temples of Canaan are under way in Moscow.

Plans to build a £38m Bible theme park where visitors can eat meals from a Last Supper menu and watch temptresses dance in the temples of Canaan are under way in Moscow.

The 80-acre site in the west of the Russian capital is part of an area that was dedicated to a version of Disneyland by President Boris Yeltsin in 1992.

But the group of Russian businessmen who have taken it over say Disneyland is wrong for Moscow – which they described as a spiritual centre – and plan instead to build an ecumenical theme park by 2005.

The park, which will include miniature versions of the Red Sea, the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, and house a replica of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, is aimed mainly at children.

Emil Pagis, an exporter of souvenirs from the Middle East, and one of three partners of The Holy Land Exhibition Co, which is behind the park, said the scheme would make children more tolerant of different religions. "Children who come here will be enlightened and reject the idea of hitting a boy in the face because he is different," Mr Pagis told The Moscow Times.

Umar Dzhabrailov, a Chechen businessman and chairman of the group, said the park would help elevate the image of Russian businessmen.

"We should be seen not as people who launder money and export capital but people who unite to do something good," he said.

In a replica of a Jewish town from the Solomon era, visitors will be able to see the dances of the temple adulteresses. The park will also house a Roman fortress and an Arab palace.

Comments