Paris to Rebuild Zoo through $181 Million Public-Private Partnership

The Los Angeles Times reports that Paris, France is entering a $181 million public-private partnership to rebuildâ??really, rescueâ??the city’s zoo:

Closed since 2008, and its animals mostly shipped abroad, the aging zoo in Paris’ Vincennes woods has been awaiting a badly needed renovation. On Wednesday, officials finally announced a $181-million overhaul through a public-private partnership, which they hope will create a zoo befitting one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

The animal park, officially called the Zoological Park of Paris, will reopen in 2014. In the meantime, “the giraffes will oversee the construction site,” said Bertrand-Pierre Galey, who runs France’s National Museum of Natural History, which encompasses the zoo.

The zoo has not had major work done since it opened in 1934, and its crumbling displays — including faux cliffs and rocks made out of concrete — eventually became a safety hazard.

“The rocks were deteriorating, and it was getting dangerous for the personnel, the public and the animals,” Genevieve Beraud-Bridenne, director of the museum’s department of botanic gardens and zoos, told the Associated Press. […]

The natural history museum will share the financial burden with a consortium called Chrysalis, specially set up for the project, that includes building group Bouygues Construction. Private investment in such projects was once a rarity in France, though it’s becoming more common.

On a related note, last month I discussed recent privatization successes at the Dallas Zoo.