《TAIPEI TIMES》 Ama Museum to close on Nov. 10
Opening-day visitors look at photographs at the Ama Museum in Taipei on Dec. 10, 2016. Photo: Nieh Wei-ling, Taipei Times
By Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter
The Ama Museum in Taipei, dedicated to Taiwan’s “comfort women,” is to close on Nov. 10 for financial reasons, the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation said yesterday.
The museum on Dihua Street （迪化街） in the Dadaocheng （大稻埕） area of Datong District （大同） opened in December 2016 to preserve and highlight historical materials about Taiwanese “comfort women” during World War II to help build public understanding about the women’s experiences.
The museum became a platform for international exchanges on human rights and gender equality, and drew more than 125,000 visitors, the foundation said.
It worked hard to raise funds to cover the museum’s operating expenses, and the cost of hosting activities, but the rent, maintenance for the 90-year-plus building and its collection, as well as personnel expenses have been high, it said.
Despite government support, shop revenue and donations, the museum lost between NT$4 million and NT$5 million （US$135,359 and US$169,199） annually over the past three years, it said.
The foundation sold its office last year to make up for the losses.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the operational challenges, given the cancelation of tour group visits and an overall decline in visitor numbers, which led to a sharp decrease in ticket sales, shop revenue and donations, it said.
The foundation said it decided not to renew the museum’s lease on its premises when it expires in December, but it hoped the public would take advantage of the museum’s final months to visit.