With exactly the same title, on 6 November 1920, the story of Sham Paris was revealed by The Illustrated London News.
Located in the northern outskirts of Paris, Sham Paris (Paris Leurre, in french) was an unbuilt project for a sacrificial territory: a wooden decoy destined to be destroyed in order to save its original twin.
Le Figaro newspaper recently unveiled its plan: featuring sham streets lined with electric lights by electrical engineer Fernand Jacopozzi, sham rail stations, replica of famous quartiers including those around the Arc de Triomphe and Opera, industrial suburbs resembling Saint-Denis and Aubervillier, and even a reproduction of Gare du Nord, the starfish city should have fooled German bombers, who relied only on their sights in pre-radars times.
This faux Paris was never finished, as war ended before its construction.
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“It is a perverse city, filled with the waiting-to-be-murdered in a civilian target. Sham Paris seems to me like a reverse city. And a reverse city in the manner of the cities created by the guilty Cain and Romulus—these two were murders who created cities; Sham Paris is a city of created murders to save the innocent.” Writes Ptak Science books.
The long tradition of shadow cities (cities built to resemble other cities, to train in, to be experimented upon), is enriched by a new paragraph: cities built solely to be annihilated, like also Survival Town, in Nevada (video here.)
Xavier Boissel wrote recently a book (in French) to tell this story. Here’s a preview.
Ptak Science Books
Paris est une leurre (Arpenter)
The Telegraph story
Le Figaro article
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