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Mingei to close Escondido galleries

The Mingei International Museum on Friday announced that it will close its Escondido galleries and store this summer due to declining attendance.

The galleries on West Grand Avenue will close to the public on June 26, but museum officials said they have no plans to sell the building, which will be used for archival and storage purposes.

“This was a difficult decision for the Board of Trustees because of our six-year commitment to establishing a strong cultural presence in downtown Escondido,” said Frances H. White, who chairs the Mingei International Museum’s board. “However, due to the uncertainty of the current economic climate and lack of sustained patronage, we felt it was necessary to close the galleries and store in order to fulfil our fiduciary responsibilities to the museum as a whole.”

The decision to close the Escondido galleries will have no impact on the Mingei International Museum’s primary location in Balboa Park, according to representative Martha Ehringer.

Admission to the Escondido galleries will be free until the closure, according to the museum.

The Mingei International Museum’s Escondido location opened in 2003. The museum showcases folk art, crafts and design from around the world.