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Belgium plans on turning an abandoned, protected hangar into a “mega-brothel,” moving sex workers in Ostend from the city’s seaside red-light district.
Backlash followed the decision from a nonprofit group, Oostendse Oosteroever, who had been advocating for the hangar to be turned into a museum to celebrate the town’s maritime past. The organization called the brothel “madness,” The Guardian reports.
The brothel will be called the Hangar d’Amour and will be run by the same company who manages a 51-suite brothel, Villa Tinto, in Belgium’s red-light district. Belgium, which tightened its prostitution laws in 2000, is one of the safest and largest markets in the world for sex workers. The new laws organized prostitution into a much more regulated three-block “tolerance zone,” where building owners who rent windows to prostitutes must apply for a permit that has to be signed by the mayor.
Because the building has protected its architectural status, contractors are only permitted to change the inside; they cannot touch the outside appearance.
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