Rome: In the early Nineties, the quiet French coastal town of Pirou Plage, Normandy, had high hopes for a huge new seaside resort promised by a property developer. But when the developer vanished, it soon became clear that the beach hub would never come to be.
But while the town’s 1,500 locals didn’t get their family-friendly ‘Aquatour’ beach resort, the plot was given a new life by ravers, and graffiti artists who used the spot as their canvas.
The story started in 1992, when a property developing snapped up a 17-acre plot behind a beach dune from the local authority, and promised to build 75 chalets, a clubhouse, and two tennis courts. All were sold, but building work stopped abruptly and the developer never heard from again.
In recent years, artists – including photographer and street artist JR and film maker Agnès Varda – flocked to the site to capture its eerie beauty before it is lost forever.
Photographer Elisabeth Blanchet has a family home 30km from Pirou Plage. She said that she wanted to capture the emptiness of a “desolate” place which was never occupied.
“I have never seen anything like this place before. Instead of carrying the weight of people who would have lived there, in their houses and then would have had to move out, there is a lightness to it.
“At the same time, you can feel things have been going on for the last 25 years. The parties and squats”
She added that those keen to see it for themselves should “hurry.”
“I think it will disappear soon,” she said.