The Art Ludique museum in Paris is set to close in the new year after a former nearby migrant camp has been blamed for gutting visitor numbers.
The museum, which showcases works of “playful” art and currently has an exhibition relating to DC Comics superheroes, owes more than 600,000 euros in rent. A judge of the district court of Paris has now decided to evict the museum from its current location near the Gare D’Austerlitz train station, Le Journal du Dimanche reports.
The museum was initially opened in 2013 and saw 580,000 visitors that year but in 2015 numbers dramatically sank after around 1,000 migrants erected a makeshift migrant camp along the Quai d’Austerlitz.
Founder of the museum Jean-Jacques Launier said that there were several incidents in 2015 including one in which a Syrian woman gave birth at the door of the museum. Then, after the Bataclan massacre, the number of visitors completely dried up.
The museum took no subsidies from the government with Launier and his partners putting up 2 million euros to finance the project and charging €16.50 for entrance.
Over 1,600 migrants have been relocated from Paris's largest makeshift migrant camp. https://t.co/j8eSX3wriH
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 10, 2017
Although the migrant camp near the museum was cleared by authorities in September of 2015, the impact of the camp led to children and families staying away from the area.
Since then, many of the migrants merely relocated to other parts of Paris like Porte de la Chapelle which was also evacuated by police earlier this year.
The migrant crisis has also impacted other areas of the French capital like the district of Chapelle-Pajol where women have become increasingly fearful of harassment from migrants in the area.
A 38-year-old resident named Aurélie commented on the constant harassment: “A few days ago, the simply standing by my window triggered a flood of insults and I had to lock myself in my apartment. I used to walk down the Boulevard de la Chapelle from Stalingrad [metro station], even late at night … It’s unthinkable today.”