• Kyodo

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An art museum and a small railway line in western Japan on Monday launched a crowdfunding appeal for a plan to wrap one of the line’s single-carriage trains with designs taken from Western masterpieces hung at the facility to help cheer up the local area.

The Ohara Museum of Art and the Ibara Railway has launched a crowdfunding scheme to help fund the wrapping of a train. | COURTESY OF IBARA RAILWAY / VIA KYODO
The Ohara Museum of Art and the Ibara Railway has launched a crowdfunding scheme to help fund the wrapping of a train. | COURTESY OF IBARA RAILWAY / VIA KYODO

The Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, and the Ibara Railway plan to decorate both the interiors and exteriors of one of its train cars with works by Renoir and El Greco, among other artists, which will be designed to look like stamps.

The railway runs between the cities of Soja in Okayama Prefecture and Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture.

Via the crowdfunding platform, which can be accessed through the railway’s website, organizers aim to collect at least ¥2.5 million ($24,000) by Dec. 18. The train wrap will be designed by local artist Saburo Ota.

The railway runs through areas such as the Mabi district in Kurashiki which suffered damage in the torrential rains and flooding that occurred across western Japan in July 2018.

The section in that area was suspended for two months after the rains.

In April and May this year, the line was forced to reduce its services to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus amid fears services could be suspended if one of its operating personnel tests positive.

The museum, founded in 1930 and mainly featuring Western pieces including Gauguin, Monet and Matisse, was closed between April and August due to the pandemic.

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