Udo Stern, a German businessman has plans to convert the aircraft carrier Foch into a luxurious offshore hotel complex.
The Foch was first launched in 1963. Bought from France by the Brazilian Navy in 2000, it then sailed as a warship for 18 years under the new name of "Sao Paulo." In 2018, it was decommissioned and auctioned to a Turkish shipyard to be dismantled in Izmir.
The aircraft carrier was scheduled to make its last voyage to Turkey in June 2021, but environmental associations have called on the French and Brazilian governments to prevent its dismantling, which risks generating hazardous waste during deconstruction.
Former Lufthansa board member, entrepreneur Udo Stern plans to transform the former French aircraft carrier into a luxury hotel: the businessman would like to transform a 13,800 square meter hangar into concert halls, cinemas and restaurants and bring back into service the 55 rooms of the ship's former captains and officers. A golf course, a casino and a ski slope are also on the agenda.
According to the German media Bild, Udo Stern wants "to make it a European ship of cultures, a unique project in the world to transform a military object into a civilian one". For this he will have to find the necessary funds.
However, the project is not unanimous: according to BFMTV, the entrepreneur must also obtain the agreement of France, a non-export clause preventing any sale of the aircraft carrier for purposes other than dismantling. The Ministry of the Army told the channel that it had not received any request to lift the clause, and assured the channel that the Foch could not be sold without its agreement.
Moreover, the former crew members would like to rehabilitate the ship as a museum. The latter came together in an association in 2018 to support a member of the Brazilian naval aviation, Emerson Miura, and the Instituto Sao Paulo/Foch, who want to turn the aircraft carrier into a museum.
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