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(July 5, 2001) VIENNA -- Coca-Cola Co. has announced it will be one of the financial backers of a new adventure and amusement resort, Mystery Park, slated to open by 2002 in Switzerland's tourist province of Interlaken.

The soft-drink giant said it will fund one of the seven theme buildings in the park, which will comprise 1,000 square meters of shopping space within the 80,000-square-meter development, according to a company spokesman. No financial details were disclosed.

Other multinationals already on board include Sony Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., while local backers include Swiss brewer Schlossloschen.

Founded in November 1997 by author and researcher Erick von Daeniken, Mystery Park announced in December 1998 that it was aiming to open by the spring of 2002 after it was given the go-ahead by the tiny Swiss village of Matten. The park, which aims to attract 500,000 visitors annually, is estimated to cost $47.3 million.

The park says it aims to present the world's "unexplained phenomena" in a three-dimensional, lifelike, and interactive way, and avoid the image of a "dull museum in which the visitors torture themselves from room to room, from artifact to artifact."

Some of the mysteries to be explored include the theories of the unsolved remnants such as the Pyramids at Giza and Chitzen-Itza, the "ET Airport" of Nazca, Peru, or the stone alignments in the French province of Brittany. -- Mike Leidig

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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