The Vagina Museum is asking the public to help it find a new home after learning that its current premises will be turned into a clothing shop.
The museum, which is the first of its kind in the world, said it is facing an uncertain future because the new location it has been offered by its landlord is “not fit for purpose”.
It is currently located in the Stables Market in Camden, where it first opened in 2019.
In a thread posted to the museum’s Twitter account, the owners said they had declined an offer of a space in the market’s top floor, because it would “effectively relegate the Vagina Museum to the top shelf and out of sight”.
“This simply won’t work for us: ‘vagina’ is not a dirty word. It should be visible within the community, battling the shame attached to the word, not hidden away like a dirty mag,” the tweet said.
With time running out before the lease ends in September the museum has now turned to the public for help.
“Do you work somewhere which might have a building which is suitable to be the next Vagina Museum premises? Do you know someone who can help?” the museum said, adding that it could cease to exist as a physical space if it does not find a new home in the next month.
The Vagina Museum, which aims to celebrate and educate the public on the gynaecological anatomy and break stigmas associated with the organ, started as a pop-up series of exhibitions in 2017 before finding its premise in Camden.
Its most recent exhibit, “Periods: A Brief History”, challenges the taboos around periods and explores how their perception and a lack of understanding has impacted people’s lives throughout history.
Like much of the arts, entertainment and hospitality sector, museums remained closed for the majority of last year under lockdown restrictions.
They were allowed to reopen on 4 July, almost three months after outdoor hospitality reopened. The museum said that the closures had also resulted in a loss of income.
“We are now open, but the long periods of closures have resulted in a significant challenge for us, and we face potential permanent closure if we cannot cover our costs during this time,” the museum said.
A spokesperson for Camden Market told The Independent it had offered the museum a larger location but it was declined.
“We were excited to welcome the Vagina Museum to Camden Market in 2019. We liaised directly with Camden Council and secured a temporary 24-month planning permission to accommodate them.
“Unfortunately, this planning permission is due to expire and as a result, we have already offered a new, larger location that fits the requirements of this business for a rental fee in line with current expectations.
“This offer has been declined, however, we are still happy to negotiate with the team should interest change at all,” the spokesperson said.