Vagina Museum still without permanent home as deadline looms

23 Sep 2021 News

The Vagina Museum

Ali Wright, 2021

The Vagina Museum has not been able to secure a new home, two months after announcing it was losing its premises in Camden, north London.

The museum said in August that it had until the end of September to find a new space, but now expects to operate online only until the situation is resolved.

Some potential landlords had been put off by “the taboo and stigmatised topics” covered by the charity, a spokesperson said.

In the meantime, the charity thanked the Jewish Museum, also based in Camden, for helping provide the Vagina Museum with working space while it is “between homes”.

Still looking

In August, the Vagina Museum tweeted that it was “at risk of becoming homeless” by the end of September, after its landlord at Camden Market decided not to renew the charity’s lease.

That space will become a clothes shop, the charity said, while alternative premises offered to the museum in the market were not “fit for purpose”.

The charity started “actively pursuing leads” to find a new permanent space. Yesterday the museum said that it was still looking for space, but has “many positive leads”.

Charity: Landlords put off by ‘taboo’

The charity said some potential landlords had been put off by the musuem's subject matter. 

Zoe Williams, the development and marketing manager at the Vagina Museum, told Civil Society News: “We've faced some challenges in our search, in particular a very good opportunity which we had pursued a long way falling through due to a sudden change of heart on their end. This did waste some of our time.

“A theme we've found is that some landlords are overly concerned about the taboo and stigmatised topics that the Vagina Museum touches on. 

“This in itself proves why we're needed as a visible space in the community, and we know we'll find the right landlord eventually.”

She added that the museum had received “some lovely offers of help from the community. The Jewish Museum are providing storage and desk space for the Vagina Museum while we're between homes, which is incredibly kind of them. 

“We'll be operating online for a little while, but we know our next home is out there, and that there's huge support for the Vagina Museum”.

The charity’s financial accounts for 2019-2020 show that the Vagina Museum made a £50,000 surplus in its first twelve months, and was planning to move to larger premises in the near future.

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