Coronavirus forces Lyon gastronomy museum to close permanently just 9 months after opening

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The Cité internationale de la gastronomie de Lyon has announced its final closure following the chaos and uncertainty created by the impact of the pandemic on tourism.

The very fashionable gastronomy museum has just opened in October 2019 in Lyon, an apparently perfect tribute to the culinary history of the city. But in a Facebook article, management said the museum was facing too many challenges to operate under new health requirements, especially since the number of visitors would likely be greatly reduced.

“Faced with these difficulties, faced with the uncertainty of economic and tourist developments, and despite all our efforts to safeguard it, we decided not to reopen the City and to definitively stop using it,” explained management in the Facebook post.

This shocking announcement recalls how precarious the French tourism industry remains after the two-month closure of the coronavirus and the current international travel bans. As the country launched a national rescue plan to reinvent its tourism industry, there will likely be other closings like this as the economic impact of the pandemic continues to spread.

The Cité was based in the 12th century Lyon-Hôtel, a former hospital which had undergone a massive renovation. Inside, there were 43,000 square feet of exhibit space spread over four floors. On the top floor, visitors could visit a demonstration kitchen to see haute cuisine in preparation, then have a tasting in the adjoining dining room.

“Our thinking is naturally and above all directed towards our entire team, who worked daily with all the passion that characterizes each of our employees, to give it life and give it the influence it deserves”, reads we in the ticket. “Conscious of the richness of the place and the work accomplished by our teams and all the actors of the project, we are convinced that a bright future will see the light of day for the spaces we are leaving and that new beautiful uses will emerge to make this City an essential place of gastronomic heritage in Lyon, in France and in the world. “

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