Village, painted Smurf-blue, votes to keep paint job permanently

A smurf in the Andalusian village of Juzcar, near Malaga, southern Spain. Photo: REUTERS/Jon Nazca

In 2011, painters coated the picturesque Spanish village of Juzcar in the smurfiest blue they had, all to promote the tiny blue creatures' cinematic debut. This week the town decided to keep the paint job permanently, all thanks to the unexpected tourism boom it triggered.

The original idea was to go back to a more traditional color scheme after the hype was over. With just 250 residents and few dwellings, nothing in the hilltop community escaped the brush. Even its church and town hall ended up the same sky-blue shade.

Sony Pictures pledged to paint everything back after the movie left theaters. When tourists started turning up, however—and sequel production kept the hype machine running—the studio's offer to restore the old look was turned down. Since then, more than 200,000 Smurf fans have visited.

If you're wondering why the town is conspicuously voting again on this issue after its earlier decision to remain blue in 2011, know ye that a smurfquel is upon us.

Photo: manuelfloresv