N. Ireland Cleans Up for G8—With Fake Shopfronts
Northern Ireland spends $3M putting stickers on derelict buildings
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2013 9:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – How do you tidy up your run-down town when a group of world leaders comes to visit? Northern Ireland has found a novel solution: Sticking fake storefronts onto derelict buildings. More than 100 properties in towns near the golf resort where G8 leaders will meet this month have been given cosmetic makeovers, while others have just been demolished, at a cost of around $3 million, RTE reports. "Northern Ireland is in the international spotlight so it is entirely right that we should portray it in the best light possible," says the environment minister.

It is almost literally a Band-aid solution: The fake storefronts are created with giant stickers that cover windows and doors. Residents are, not surprisingly, pretty unhappy that the funds have gone to impressing the likes of President Obama and Angela Merkel instead of building real businesses. "The shop fronts are cosmetic surgery for serious wounds. They are looking after the banks instead of saving good businesses," says one local. "In six months' time how are these shops going to look?" says another. "They'll just be pieces of paper blowing around the ground."

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Jun 5, 2013 11:19 PM CDT
This was meant to be amusing? I am not laughing at misery of others.
Jun 5, 2013 4:14 PM CDT
Like "Blazing saddles" . Will they now add fake cardboard people??
Jun 5, 2013 12:10 PM CDT
So what happens if Bumma decides to stop on the fly and walk into a haggis shop and tries to open the door and finds it is one of those faux shops covers. It really is a hidden hq for the IRA. I'm sure MI5 will tell the secret service to not try any of those impromptu stops like presidents like to do, especially in the stronghold of the IRA.