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De Efteling adjusts controversial ‘racist’ attraction

The Monsieur Cannibale ride. Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Dutch amusement park De Efteling has announced it will adapt its controversial attraction Monsieur Cannibale, which features several pots and pans spinning around a large, half-naked person of colour, and has been deemed racist.

For several years, visitors to the park have complained about the ride, arguing it portrays a “problematic, racist caricature”, and after critique flared up as a result of the Black Lives Matter protests last year, resulting in 1,500 people signing a petition to have it removed, De Efteling has decided to adjust it.

“We have to keep moving with the times,” a spokesperson for the park told VRT News, emphasising that the attraction is over 30 years old.

The park said the adjustment to give the attraction a ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ theme, a character from the fairy tale of 1001 Nights, will see the cooking pots become real merchant ships, and is part of a larger maintenance project which will start in early September and will cost around €2.8 million.

“We will do this in phases, whereby this winter first the attractions Adventure Maze and Monsieur Cannibale will get the Oriental theme of Sindbad and at a later stage, the existing catering location Panorama will also be adapted to this theme,” a statement read.

De Efteling had previously adjusted another attraction ‘Carnival Festival’, in which the African and Asian puppets were given clothes adapted to the culture and offensive elements were removed.