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Fort Boyard: the famous monument falls “in ruin”:

Fort Boyard, an emblematic military building that has become a television set, is threatened by climatic hazards and must undergo 44 million euros (nearly CA$65 million) of work by 2028, the Charente-Maritime department announced on Friday. (west of France) which is launching a public consultation.

Planted in the Atlantic Ocean, between the island of Oléron and the island of Aix, this 19th century monument is “destined for ruin” due to lack of protection from the onslaught of the waves, the community argues in a press release. , owner of the site since 1989.

“The studies […] conclude that Fort Boyard will inevitably ruin if works intended to ensure its protection against currents and swells are not built,” we can read.



The work, planned from 2025 to the end of 2027-beginning of 2028, consists of rebuilding certain protective structures existing in the past, with concrete resuming the appearance of the original granite, among others: a spur at the front of the building, a docking harbour, a berm (protective embankment).

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At the end of the project, the Fort should become “accessible” to the public, specifies Sylvie Marcilly, president of the department, in a video broadcast by the community.

The estimated budget amounts to 36 million euros (nearly CA$53 million) excluding taxes, while the departmental council voted to authorize up to 44 million euros for this work.



Subsidy requests “are in progress” from the State, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and the European Union. A call for patrons will be launched in the fall of 2024.

The community presented its preliminary consultation on Friday, entitled “Save Fort Boyard”, with registers open to the public from May to September. An educational exhibition was also set up.

Built between 1803 and 1857, a former military structure that became a prison, Fort Boyard fell into disrepair before being listed as a historic monument. Bought in 1988 by a television game producer, it was sold the following year to the department for a symbolic franc, on condition that the latter ensured its maintenance.

The show Fort Boyardlaunched in 1990 in France, gave rise to more than 1,500 episodes of this successful game show in around forty countries, making the fort a star.

All year round, sea trips take thousands of people to admire the oval silhouette of the 68 by 31 meter monument, which can only be approached by boat or helicopter.

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