Offbeat Tourism

Why Mysuru’s sand museum faces closure

MYSURU: The sand museum in Mysuru, which is the first of its kind in Karnataka and is very popular among tourists, faces an uncertain future and may even be shut down because of the constant harassment faced by the artiste running it.

The museum, established in 2014 by the city-based sand sculptor and artist M.N. Gowri, has received rave reviews from tourists and social media sites such as TripAdvisor and Holiday IQ, with the ratings ranging from excellent to very good, reports The Hindu.
But Ms. Gowri is contemplating shutting the museum down owing to the unsavoury developments in the past couple of weeks.

Perhaps miffed by the success of the private museum, local shopkeepers owing allegiance to a prominent politician in the locality have been issuing threats.

“First they insisted that all visitors to the museum should be directed to their shop. Then they insisted that I close the exit door of the museum and link it to their shop so that the tourists end up there. I refused this,” she said.

The last straw was the assault on her mother Nagalambika and father Nanjunda Swamy, which was captured in the CCTV cameras at the museum’s entrance, on Thursday. “Though the police have registered an FIR against the goons, the incident has left a bitter taste,” said Ms. Gowri.

“The pressure is mounting by the day and even the landlord from whom we had leased the property to establish the museum has increased the monthly rent from Rs. 10,000 till three months ago to Rs. 35,000, with an annual increase of 10%. They have asked us to vacate the premises otherwise,” Ms. Gowri said.

Meanwhile, the local authorities have also issued notice to her stating that she needs to fork out property tax at the commercial rate despite the fact that the land in question does not belong to her.

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