Times Square attraction Gulliver’s Gate claims its signature miniature replicas of world cities are at risk of “irreparable damage” if it can’t get access to its building to rescue the installation.
Gulliver’s — which filed for bankruptcy in October 2019 only two-and-a-half years after opening — alleges in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Tuesday that the owners of 216 West 44th Street, where the exhibition is housed, won’t let the business back into the building to “repair and maintain the display and to coordinate its removal from the premises.”
Gulliver’s — which created the 50,000-square-foot installation that includes miniatures of the Taj Mahal and Stonehenge — claims “the display is presently at significant risk for irreparable damage,” according to the court papers.
The tourist attraction is currently disassembled and “is at risk of warping and permanent distortion, which would prevent it from being reassembled in the future,” the court documents claim.
Further, “the pumps, seals and systems for one of the largest miniatures are at risk for dry rot” and engineers have told Gulliver’s that “batteries may be leaking corrosive chemicals on sensitive electronics,” the court filing claims.
The work was created by “600 craft specialists” over hundreds of thousands of hours and “is irreplaceable,” the filing says.
Despite the fact that the landlords in the bankruptcy case agreed to let Gulliver’s “inspect and remove” its personal property, the owners have ignored repeated requests to be let onto the premises, the court documents allege.
Gulliver’s is seeking immediate access to the exhibition and compensation for any damages to the work including “dust accumulation, water leakage or excess moisture,” the court papers say.
There is no reason for the building owners “to withhold Gulliver’s’ personal property other than spite or for their attempted use as leverage to coerce payment of rent that they claim,” they are owed, the court documents allege.
Gulliver’s got into financial troubles claiming it was having issues paying its $5.7 million yearly rent, which it stopped paying in November 2018.
Gulliver’s and the building owners — which are affiliates of the Kushner Companies — then got into a since-settled eviction battle. Gulliver’s argued that it was being over-charged for more than $500,000 annually for nearly 6,000 square feet of space that it didn’t have access to.
The Kushner Companies did not immediately return a request for comment.