Potemkin village

or Potemkin Village


a pretentiously showy or imposing façade intended to mask or divert attention from an embarrassing or shabby fact or condition.

Origin of Potemkin village

1935–40; after Prince Potëmkin, who allegedly had villages of cardboard constructed for Catherine II's visit to the Ukraine and the Crimea in 1787
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020