Chernobyl, With Helping Hand From TV, Becomes an Unlikely Tourism Magnet HBO電視劇《核爆家園》加持 車諾比掀觀光潮
When a nuclear plant exploded in northern Ukraine in April 1986, Soviet authorities went to great lengths to control information about the disaster — even cutting off private telephone conversations when the word Chernobyl was used.
Now, in a strange turn more than three decades after the meltdown, the exclusion area around Chernobyl is gaining a following as a tourism destination, apparently propelled by the popularity of a TV miniseries about the blast that was broadcast in the United States and Britain last month.
The miniseries, HBO’s “Chernobyl,” fictionalizes the events in the aftermath of the explosion and fire at the plant’s Unit 4 nuclear reactor. It has been one of the highest-rated shows on the IMDB charts.
“The number of visitors increases every day, every week, by 30, 40, now almost 50 percent,” said Victor Korol, the head of SoloEast, a company that gives tours of the site. “People watch TV, and they want to go there and see the place, how it looks.”
“In May 2018, we had 1,251 visitors. Last month, we had 1,860 — a 48 percent increase,” Korol said.
According to figures from the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, tourism to Chernobyl has been growing quickly over the past five years. In 2014, a spokeswoman said, the site had 8,404 visitors; in 2018, that number was 71,862. In May 2019 alone, she added, the site had 12,591.
Joe Ponte, managing director of Explore, a company that focuses on adventure travel, said that passenger numbers for the firm’s five-day Discover Chernobyl tour had increased fourfold since the miniseries aired in May.
But as tourist numbers increase, so has concern about the behavior of visitors to the site of a disaster that was blamed for thousands of deaths in the following years and whose dire consequences for the environment linger decades later.
Short and squat with a froggy face, wearing a beribboned boater and a scarlet cancan skirt that she would flip up to expose her naked derrière, La Vilaine Lulu terrorized her teachers, schoolmates, passersby — well, everyone, really. A devil child, that Lulu.
Now she is a cornerstone for “Mode et Bande Dessinée” (“Fashion and Comic Books”), which its organizers say is the first major exhibition to take a comprehensive look at fashion in comic books and graphic novels, through Jan. 5 at the Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l’Image in Angoulême, France.
如今，她是「Mode et Bande Dessinée」（時尚與漫畫）展覽的一大台柱。主辦方表示，這是第一個全面審視漫畫和圖像小說中時尚的大型展覽，展場在法國安古蘭國際漫畫影像城，展至1月5日。
As the fall couture season begins on Monday in Paris, the show is a reminder that, while luxury fashion is often viewed as elitist, it has a way of trickling down commercially and artistically to unexpected yet highly accessible places — and vice versa. Comic-Con International and the elaborate character outfits worn by fans are just one flash of the impact.
“Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Thierry Mugler were obviously influenced by B.D.s,” said Thierry Groensteen, the exhibition’s curator,“You see it in Castelbajac’s sweater dresses, with B.D. motifs, and Mugler’s Cat Woman suit, with its cagoule with little ears.”
Two hours by train from Paris, Angoulême is France’s capital of comic books. Each year since 1974, it has hosted the Angoulême International Comic Festival, a four-day event that last year drew more than 200,000 B.D. enthusiasts. The Cité, which opened in 1990, now houses 13,000 original plates and 250,000 B.D.s — the world’s second largest collection of French-language comics (after the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University in Columbus).
In addition to the museum, which has about 70,000 visitors a year, there is a reference library, two screening rooms, bookstore, a restaurant and residences where as many as 50 comic book authors are invited to spend from three months to four years working on their latest projects.