Dutch tobacco museum closing down

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A tobacco museum in the north of the Netherlands is closing because smoking has gone out of fashion, it said on Friday. The owner of the museum, the BAT Theodorus Niemeijer tobacco company in the city of Groningen, said it is no longer socially acceptable to exhibit cigarettes, cigars and other smokers' requisites.

The collection had been on display since the 1950s and illustrated the history of tobacco use, from the discovery of the leaves' properties in America in the 15th century to the present day.

The museum, which is housed on the premises of the Groningen Shipping Museum, will shut its doors on 1 January, 2011. Part of its collection will be put up for auction, while some exhibits will be handed to other museums.

The Niemeijer company admitted that financial reasons are also to blame for the closure, as the drop in tobacco sales necessitates cuts.

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