The Disneyfication of Montreal continues unabated.
New for February of 2016, the world’s largest permanent exhibition of Barbie dolls is set to welcome tens, possibly dozens of people when it opens next week somewhere in the shopping mall that was once a luxurious hotel.
Five-thousand square feet of Les Cours Mont-Royal will be dedicated to a collection of 1,000 Barbie dolls, most of which will be exhibiting haute-couture from some of the world’s leading fashion houses.
According to the recent Simone de Beauvoir Institute graduate I interviewed panhandling outside Peel Métro, “…that’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.”
The museum (and my aren’t we throwing that word around a lot these days) will have free admission, as organizers felt it would be inappropriate to charge North American children to see what more productive Chinese children spend their days ‘creating’.
In lieu of admission fees, Barbie Expo® will be asking the visitor(s) to donate to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, though apparently will not be able to grant wishes such as: ‘I wish my kid’s doll was a better role-model’, ‘I wish Barbie’s proportions were physically possible’ or ‘I wish my schmuck kid stops begging me to come here.’
Les Cours Mont-Royal has followed the precedent set by the Montreal Eaton’s Centre in turning spaces left vacant due to exceptionally high rents into ‘museums’ designed to inspire young minds. Their Grévin Wax Museum features life-size replicas of the heroes of New France, as well as noted children’s enthusiast Michael Jackson and the lesbian chansonnier Justin Bieber.
The new museum will be promoted by the Quebec and Montreal tourism offices as representative of Montreal’s dynamic and well-respected cultural scene. Barbies will not only be featured in designer clothing, but also in unique dioramas, such as ‘Barbie at Waterloo’, ‘Barbie exiting the Apollo lunar module’ and ‘Babushka Barbie in Dealy Plaza, Nov. 22nd 1963.’
Though he could not be reached for comment due to an official policy of ignoring local journalists, Mayor Denis Coderre was imagined stating “Montreal’s back motherfuckers!” when asked what, if anything, the Barbie Museum will contribute to the city’s cultural vitality.