Abandon Ship: Closing The Boat project before it got started
We have the difficult job of announcing that we had to close The Boat project for safety reasons. It’s been nearly a year of delays and negotiations that have finally led us to a point where we could finally access the expert advice of a structural engineer and have concluded that:
- The current structure might not support its own weight (columns on the lower floors are showing signs of twisting) before even adding any furniture, equipment or people;
- The hull is single layered and not partitioned, putting the boat at risk of sinking in case of perforation;
- Absence of emergency exits and secondary staircases.
We proposed to local authorities to bring the boat onshore, remove two floors and create exit stairs, thereby solving all security aspects. But although both the Municipality and Port Authority support the concept of the project, they do not have a location in the city center that could accommodate a boat of this size.
Therefore, as of October 20th, we have officially given notice to the owner to terminate our rental agreement and have informed the local authorities accordingly.
We are now discussing options with our colleagues in the arts community, as well as with our crowdfunding donors, to develop a new project, although on a much smaller in scale, that would bring more public arts events to Phnom Penh.
Our crowdfunding campaign raised $9,297 USD and we will give the choice to every donor to either be reimbursed or redirect the funds to support a community-driven project for contemporary arts. We are of course committed to returning all the donations at our own cost for those who prefer a refund.
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