KrakówPolska can exclusively reveal the fate of tanks and other equipment from the city’s famous aquarium… they’re rotting in the former manager’s back yard.
The aquarium hit the headlines in the summer when it was trashed in a dispute between the building’s owner – the Polish Academy of Sciences and Nathan Gendreau, an American ex-pat living in Kraków and with a string of hostels across central Europe. When Mr Gendreau vacated the premises ahead of his June 18 eviction date, police and bailiffs found that the facility had been almost ‘razed to the ground’. At the time that Mr Gendreau left, a report in the English language newspaper Krakow Post quoted one bailiff, saying he was ‘amazed at the level of damage.’
The Krakow Post added that local media had reported that Mr Gendreau owed some 500,000zł in rent. Some animals – including rare or endangered species – had been left unattended in the shell of the former aquarium. Some animals had been found new homes, but those left behind had been ‘trapped in a hell’ of plaster, broken glass and cables.
This week, KrakówPolska received information that the remains of the aquarium were rotting in Mr Gendreau’s backyard. A KrakówPolska reporter checked in as a guest at ‘Nathan’s Hostel’, ul. Św. Agnieszki, in order to confirm the reports.
At the time of the eviction, Mr Gendreau told Polish reporters that destruction of the facility had not been his intention. He said that he needed to move the tanks at short notice, so had to dismantle them quickly. He also said that his animals had been well-cared for, and had been fed to prepare them for their journey from the attraction.
A new-look aquarium, at ulica Sebastiana 9, will open under the auspices of the Polish Academy of Sciences this weekend.