Art gallery closes New Orleans location due to ‘city insecurity’

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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) — A New Orleans art gallery is permanently closing its French Quarter boutique due to crime concerns.

According to a message from Kako Gallery officials, the last day of activity at the Royal Street site will be August 27.

“After many years of investment and fond memories, we have decided to permanently close our 733 Royal Street location due to countless encounters that define and reflect the insecurity of the city,” the post reads.

The owners encourage art lovers to visit their showroom in Denham Springs or purchase artwork online.

Just two days before Monday’s announcement, a man was shot dead in nearby Rue de Bourbon. Police say the victim “was involved in a physical altercation with the (four) suspects when one of the suspects pulled out a gun and shot the victim.”

On May 22, a man was shot three blocks from the gallery near the intersection of Royal and St. Louis streets. Police arrested Frederick Boudreaux in this incident.

CRIMETRACKER

Violent crime in New Orleans has baffled residents and business owners and prompted reactions from city leaders.

“I never plan to go [to New Orleans] shop or eat like I used to,” Joeann Wallace said in the comments. “Too much crime to take a chance.”

“Unfortunately the best days in the city are behind us,” commented another user, Dickie Dupre.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell says she is focused on addressing the root causes of crime. She says the criminal justice system will have to work together to make a difference.

Victims of crime say enough is enough.

“We have an opportunity, but this crime is definitely out of control,” a crime victim told Fox 8.

Some believe that the decrease in the number of police officers is a major contributing factor.

“They won’t be able to deal with this and many other issues related to the personnel issues that they have,” said Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission.

According to MCC data, homicides are up 58% from last year.

“So violent crime is increasing while the number of officers continues to drop,” says Goyeneche.

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