Commercial Chernobyl

Posing like tourists for Dan Cronin.
In advance I apologize to those who might take offense from the sometimes aggressive tone of this post. 

During the time of blog silence, the time has as usual not been wasted in inactivity. -Rather the opposite, and most of the time has been spent preparing for the next journey to the Zone and trying to find out news about what is currently happening to it. To rephrase a quote from Andrey Tarkovskiy's movie STALKER, the Zone constantly changes, and nobody knows how. 

Four days ago the news arrived, that our expedition for this spring is cancelled. Or rather postponed. Due to previous reports from October 2011 and forth, this didn't exactly come as a surprise - actually, this was just what I suspected and sadly, my suspicions had been correct and when I was informed about the reason of the decision taken to postpone our trip, it all suddenly made sense. I have previously reported about the closing of the Zone and the  gradual and then sudden dismissal and replacing of the long term working Chernobyl guides of which the latter indicated more than one contradiction to the official statement explaining why the Zone must be closed to the public. The reason stated itself was very vague in its bureaucracy: 
"Due to environmental changes..."
I'd be surprised if I was the only one to have believed that this was all because the construction of the Shelter, and I'm even more surprised to realize that this as a matter of fact is quite a naive assumption. The true reason is of course Euro 2012, the European football championships hosted by Ukraine and Poland in collaboration. The championships will take place between the 8th of June and the 1st of July this summer and attract tens of thousands (if not more) tourists to Kiev and this means many opportunities to profit from what the region has to offer and the infamous site of a specific disaster seems to me to be one of the most important cash cows. That, my friends, is why they fired all the old guides who seem likely to be re-hired once the championships are over. 

French "art".
In the meantime however, different kinds of insects seem to have crawled into the Zone infesting it with further disease, amongst others a French so called street artist refering to himself as "Combo", who has provided one of the Pripyat schools with a mural that could not have been more displaced. This is what you see at the photo to the right. 

From the website Design You Trust I quote: 

"On a recent trip to Chernobyl, French street artist Combo left behind something memorable: a mural of The Simpsons. Combo is known for using iconic characters to make a statement, and this image continues the trend. The nuclear power plant in the background looks a lot more menacing here, but I also think there’s something really interesting about such a happy, cheery image juxtaposed against the aftermath of a horrible tragedy."
There are probably people who agree to this, but in my opinion it is sheer vandalism because what could this possibly add to those who visit the Zone to explore it in order to get a grasp of history and a sense of what happened? -Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. 

"The Zone changes all the time..." and now seems to be the time to contaminate it with something new, possibly more harmful than radiation - cheap popular culture:

This spring holds the premiere of the American production Chernobyl Diaries. According to the trailer, this is nothing but a typical American horror movie containing nothing of substance whatsoever and of course with a lot of misinformative "facts", but what do you do when you have run out of mask wearing killers? 

I rest my case. All that I want to know if this was the film team roaming around whilst we were in Pripyat in May last year.