Attendance at Kentucky’s Ark Encounter museum is falling even though the museum has received millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, the Friendly Atheist reports. The museum was built to illustrate the creationist belief that the universe was created by one divine being, and that there’s no such thing as evolution. Therefore, the museum shows things like humans and dinosaurs interacting.
As part of an agreement with the town of Williamstown, the museum’s founder, Ken Ham, has to report the monthly attendance to the complex. This past September saw 69,207 people paying to visit, down 17 percent from last September, when there were 83,330.
That means that fewer people are visiting the museum despite the fact that public schools are sending children there to learn about creationism and using taxpayer funds to pay for it.
The organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State reports that the Ark Encounter has received millions of dollars in local and state tax breaks and subsidies.
According to Americans United, a 50 cent fee has been initiated on each ticket sold in order to help cover the cost of emergency services. Americans United also reports that “Ark Encounter wasn’t entirely privately funded. Williamstown issued $62 million in junk bonds to help finance the park’s construction and agreed to forgo 75 percent of the park’s property taxes for 30 years to pay back those bonds. As previously mentioned, the state gave the park $18 million in subsidies, plus paid about $10 million to improve nearby roads. A Grant County economic development agency essentially donated 100 acres of land for the park.”
h/t Raw Story