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Seven-decade fascination for Toys lives on in the Antique Toy Museum in Mexico

Shimizu Kinoshita, who is struggling after a congressional decision to stop allocating cultural funds for the collection

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Dolls of comics characters Archie and Jughead are displayed at the Mexico Antique Toy Museum in Mexico City, Jan. 6, 2017. VOA
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Even as a child, Roberto Shimizu loved collecting things.

So when his Japanese immigrant father opened a stationery and toy store in Mexico City in 1940, Shimizu began a lifelong quest to save and collect toys.

More than seven decades later, that youthful fascination lives on in the Antique Toy Museum, a four-story building packed with objects that transport visitors back to a nostalgic past.

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Tucked in the middle of the capital’s historic but seedy Doctores neighborhood, it is stuffed with Legos, superhero action figures, robots, model airplanes, trains and Hello Kitty.

There are also “lucha libre” wrestling masks and old traditional Mexican toys and other playthings that are reminders of the country’s once-robust toy industry that has all but disappeared following the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Shimizu still helps out occasionally, but the museum is now run by his son, Roberto Y. Shimizu Kinoshita, who is struggling after a congressional decision to stop allocating cultural funds for the collection.

The museum has had to cut staff by half and most of its cultural events and workshops have been suspended, says the son, who hopes to raise money for the museum through a Kickstarter campaign.

“It is very sad that once again the budgets destined for culture are the ones most punished,” the younger Shimizu said at the opening of a recent Barbie doll exhibit.

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“Through our toy museum, our intention has always been to share our collection so that people enjoy and relive their childhood memories, to enter that tunnel of time to relive all those past Christmases and Three Kings’ Days when you got your new toys — and even the toys you never got.”(VOA)

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Over 200 Killed As 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Mexico City

The earthquake took place on the anniversary of a devastating earthquake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985

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EARTHQUAKE
People evacuated from office buildings gather in Reforma Avenue after an earthquake in Mexico City, Sept. 19, 2017. VOA

Mexico, September 20, 2017 :  A powerful earthquake of 7.1 magnitude struck Mexico city, leaving more than 200 people dead and many trapped under the collapsed buildings. At about 2.15 p.m. (local time) on Tuesday, the earthquake shook central Mexico, its epicenter was 4.5 km east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 55 km south-southwest of the city of Puebla, in Puebla state.

“We are facing a new national emergency,” said Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, in his first televised address following the earthquake.

The earthquake was felt far and wide. In Mexico City, there were power outages and more than 40 buildings collapsed crushing cars and trapping people inside.

Dozens of buildings collapsed or were severely damaged in densely populated parts of nearby states also.

Thousands of soldiers, rescuers and civilians — including college students — in Mexico City clawed through the rubble with picks, shovels and their bare hands. Windows buckled and shattered, falling several stories to the ground while thousands of people streamed into the streets running away from buildings and potential gas leaks.

People struggled to get home when power poles that toppled in the quake blocked the streets and the public transportation system temporarily shut down operations. Nearly 5 million customers were still without power early Wednesday.

The earthquake came less than two weeks after a massive 8.1-magnitude quake hit the country on September 7 and killed nearly 100.

The earthquake took place on the anniversary of a devastating earthquake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985. Just hours before the quake hit, many people took part in drills and commemorative events.

All public and private schools in Mexico City and some of the states affected by the earthquake will remain closed until further notice, Education Minister Aurelio Nuño tweeted.

Foreign leaders sent messages of support to Mexico. US President Donald Trump, who has courted controversy with his plans for a border wall with Mexico, tweeted: “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted his support following the “devastating news”.

 

(IANS)

 

 

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