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Struggling to maintain visitor numbers, often in the face of drastic cuts to their budgets, many of Japan’s museums have been turning to an unlikely source of respite: architecture.

That’s not to say they are pursuing the so-called Bilbao Effect, whereby the museum constructs a new building so quirky that it becomes a more effective people-magnet than the art it houses. No, the trend in Japan is for existing museums to hold exhibitions of architecture. And they’re proving as popular as Bilbao-like buildings.

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