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Belgium's Doomed Ghost Town is Now Large-Scale Art

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Wedged between docks on one side and a nuclear power plant on the other, the 400-year-old village of Doel, Belgium has been abandoned by all but 30 of its heartiest residents, who will likely soon also be pushed out due to plans to enlarge the Port of Antwerp—which is already one of Europe's largest seaports. Talks of the port's expansion have caused a steady exodus since the late 90s—when premiums were offered to those who sold their property—and have left a town of abandoned architecture behind. And of course, as with decaying structures worldwide, visiting graffiti artists have found inspiration for large-scale art work throughout the city.

These days, building-sized murals, enormous rats paintings, and lurking cartoon monsters make for a stunning, slightly surreal juxtaposition against the boarded-up homes—and also attract tourists who come to survey the "living gallery." Despite this influx of attention, though—and the handful of townspeople who have worked to fight the authorities—it seems only a matter of time before this little town and all the art it's inspired are gone for good. For those too far for a day trip, Weezbo has more photos, do take a look.

·Amazing Street Art of the Doomed Village of Doel [Weezbo via Design You Trust]
·Villagers in last stand to save Belgian ghost town [Reuters]
·All Abandonment Issues posts [Curbed National]