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Smurf Happens! Spanish Town Left Feeling Blue as Officials End Gnome Tourism

Juzcar is a town in the province of Malaga, part of the autonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain, and is famed for being the home of the Smurfs after Sony Pictures painted it blue to celebrate the premier of its Smurfs film.

A village of 250 inhabitants, Juzcar is no longer allowed to claim to be the "Village of the Smurfs."

From August 15 it will no longer be able to make reference to the small blue characters which have no doubt added to making the town an extremely popular tourist destination. 

In 2011, every building in the village was painted blue to promote the premiere of The Smurfs 3D movie, this was only meant to be a temporary measure.

However residents liked the new color and realized the tourism potential that it had. As a result Juzcar became the world's only Smurf village.

This was a new beginning for the small and sleepy town which had seen unemployment increase to 35 percent. After the residents painted their homes blue, the Village of the Smurfs as it came to be known around the world, was attracting some 50,000 tourists a year.

Everywhere you looked, you would see Smurfs — their paintings of on walls, Smurfs being sold as souvenirs, whilst locals actually dressed up as Smurfs themselves.

However this perfect blue heaven may be forced to change very soon, due to a dispute between the town hall and heirs of the Smurf creator — Belgian comic artist Pierre Culliford, also lovingly known as Peyo. Locals had to pay 12 percent in royalties on all Smurf-related income, and as a result the mayor of Juzcar announced that all Smurf products and activities must end.

The village however doesn't need repainting and can retain its iconic blue color.

The council has not given any reason for why the decision was taken, and have made no further comment on the matter.

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