Plans have been put forward by the head of the Normandy regional council, Hervé Morin, to create a permanent site in the region to mark the D-Day landings of 1944.
Every year around 5 million people visit Normandy for 'remembrance tourism' but there is no single museum that unites all aspects of the massive Allied military operation that ultimately lead to the Liberation of France and the end of the Second World War.
But despite the plans being at a very early stage – although the aim is to have it completed in time for the 80th anniversary of the landings in 2024 – they have already sparked controversy.
The description of the idea as a spectacle (show) has lead some to describe it as insulting to the thousands of men who lost their lives on the beaches of northern France during the landings.
Every year around 5 million people travel to Normandy to visit cemeteries and D-Day sites. Photo: AFP
Already a petition against the idea – which has been dubbed 'D-Day Land' by its detractors – is circulating.
Set up by the Groupe National de Recherche 1939-1945 (national group of 1939-45 researchers) the petition states: “The Normandy Region has announced a project to create a “D-Day Land” for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings. This will seriously harm the ecology of the area but also lacks respect for the veterans and the people killed during the Normandy landings and the battle that followed.