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It was described as “a fantastical model of Manhattan and beyond”, but giant rents brought miniature world Gulliver’s Gate to its knees and the attraction in Times Square shuttered for good in January of last year after filing for bankruptcy.
The story doesn’t end there, though — the New York Post reports Gulliver’s Gate has filed a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit alleging the owners of 216 West 44th Street, where the exhibition is housed, won’t let the business back into the building to “repair and maintain the display and to coordinate its removal from the premises.”
The tourist attraction “is at risk of warping and permanent distortion, which would prevent it from being reassembled in the future,” the court documents claim.
“The pumps, seals and systems for one of the largest miniatures are at risk for dry rot” and engineers have told Gulliver’s that “batteries may be leaking corrosive chemicals on sensitive electronics,” says the court filing.
Gulliver’s Gate opened to fanfare in the spring of 2017. It was the brainchild of Israeli entrepreneur and miniature lover Eiran Gazit and fellow miniature lover and co-developer Michael Langer and cost around $40 million, with miniature tableaux created by over 600 craft specialists worldwide depicting attractions from 50 nations.
Highlights included miniatures of Manhattan’s most prominent landmarks, such as Times Square, New York Public Library, the High Line, and the World Trade Center, and of world-renowned buildings like the Taj Mahal and the Arc de Triomphe. Gulliver’s Gate was struggling to pay annual rents of $5.7 million before it filed for bankruptcy.