Tuesday, 24 February 2015
The commemorative events for the Battle of Waterloo, which will last 4 days from June 18th, should draw in approximately 200,000 people, organisers believe. Tickets are already on sale for various events (www.waterloo2015.org), mainly 2 re-enactments of the battle on June 19th and 20th. These re-enactments can welcome up to 120,000 spectators. At this moment in time, almost 75,000 have already been snapped up, a third of which by foreign tourists. The total budget for these commemorations will hover around 5 million euros according to the managing director of an NGO called Battle of Waterloo 1815. Performances, events for the whole family, and an official ceremony with several international personalities are planned over the 4 days.
The organisers say preparations are running smoothly. Regular meetings help plan and put in place mobility, accessibility, and security measures to cater for the expected tens of thousands of visitors. As for the actual memorial monument, building work at the base of Butte du Lion is almost over, and it should be inaugurated at some point in May. At the same time, Napoleon’s last HQ, the Hougoumont farm, as well as several battlefield monuments, will be renovated in time for the bicentenary.